GSK Velu is exploring a bid for Metropolis Healthcare, the company he once co-funded with the Shah family, seven years after selling his stake following a boardroom battle, people aware of the development said. Velu, the founder of Trivitron Healthcare, is believed to be in talks with a bunch of investors, including two large private equity funds and half a dozen banking firms, to raise money to finance his bid for the diagnostics chain.
Metropolis chief executive Ameera Shah and her family has initiated a formal process to sell the controlling promoter stake and is understood to have hired investment bank Barclays to initiate a formal sale.
“Velu is definitely exploring to bid, although it’s still unclear whether he would be able to clinch the transaction. He is definitely looking to bid for the asset if the Shah family is completely exiting from the venture,” a source close to Velu said. A few PE funds, including Warburg Pincus and TA Associates, are also believed to be exploring bids to buy Metropolis in a deal valued at around ₹7,800 crore.
Warburg Pincus is a US fund with a strong presence in the Indian healthcare space. It was one of the shareholders in Metropolis with a 27% stake, which it had acquired from ICICI Venture in 2010.
The Shah family had bought back the stake from Warburg in 2015.
Warburg may also jointly bid with Velu, sources said.
Velu and Metropolis declined to comment, while Warburg Pincus and TA Associates did not respond to emails till press time on Sunday.
Amazon, Walmart-owned Flipkart, and the Adani Group are also said to be exploring bids for the healthcare chain.
Founded in 1980 by Sushil Shah, Metropolis is now a global chain of diagnostic companies, with presence in eight countries.
Chennai-based Velu, a serial entrepreneur in the healthcare industry, joined hands with the Shahs in the late 1990s after merging his diagnostic business with Metropolis.
Credits – Source – https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/healthcare/biotech/pharmaceuticals/gsk-velu-in-talks-with-investors-pes-banking-firms-to-buy-back-metropolis-healthcare/articleshow/92166922.cms