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Amarchand, Vaish ink Fortis-Wockhardt mega-deal, benefit from clients' M&A appetites

Amarchand Mangaldas has acted for Wockhardt in selling 10 hospitals for Rs 909 crore ($186m) to Fortis Healthcare, which was advised by Vaish Associates in Mumbai.

Amarchand Mumbai managing partner Cyril Shroff and corporate partner Nivedita Rao led the legal team for Wockhardt Hospitals.

Vaish Associates Mumbai partner Bomi Daruwala led the team for Fortis Healthcare.

Daruwala said: "It was a very complicated transaction because you would realise that any hospital business involves sigificant real estate. One has to structure that transaction in such a manner that the client gets unfettered rights over the real estate."

"Real estate law is very complex in India and each state has its own real estate specific laws that makes it even more complex," he added.

Daruwala's team also included senior associates Sandhya Iyer, Amit Bhandari, Krishna Kishore, and Amitjivan Joshi, as well as associates Yatin Narang, Ann Jose and Sangeetha Mugunthan.

Fortis' business is almost doubling its capacity in hospital beds by 1,902 to 5,180 through the acquisition of the 10 Wockhardt sites in Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai, of which two are still under construction.

For both law firms this acquisition marks the latest in a long line of M&A activity from their close respective clients.

Amarchand has advised Wockhardt on its flurry of divestments in the last month, including the sale of its nutritional business to Abbott and its animal health division to French company Vetoquinol.

Vaish Associates has also acted for Fortis Healthcare on other acquisitions, such as its 2007 purchase of a Rs 26 crore ($6.3m) stake in Malar Hospital.

Fortis Healthcare is promoted by the Singh family of Ranbaxy Pharmaceuticals, which is one of Vaish Associates' large clients.

The Fortis-Wockhardt acquisition was announced on Monday (24 August) and is expected to be completed by the end of December.

Photo by Adrian Barnes

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