Malaysia’s IHH Healthcare, and also Asia’s largest private healthcare group, filed a claim against Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo in mid-October, seeking damages in excess of 20 billion yen ($131.86 million) in relation to its stake-buy in Delhi-NCR’s Fortis Healthcare.

In a filing to the BSE, Fortis Healthcare, one of the largest in India, shared details of the litigation.

It said that Northern TK Venture Pte Ltd. (NTK), the promoter shareholder of the company (and a subsidiary of IHH), has on October 16 filed a “claim against Daiichi Sankyo”, the Japanese pharmaceutical manufacturer. Pursuant to the claim, NTK is seeking damages in excess of 20 billion yen.

“NTK’s position is that Daiichi Sankyo has caused losses to NTK by preventing it from proceeding with the open offers in respect of the company and Fortis Malar Hospitals Limited,” the stock market notification shared by Fortis said.

Open offers for Fortis were made in 2018.

Reportedly, IHH Healthcare in December 2018 had to halt its open offer to buy an additional 26 per cent stake in Fortis after a court ruling ordered status quo to be maintained following Daiichi filing a contempt plea against Fortis’ founders. This legal hurdle effectively suspended IHH’s efforts to expand its shareholding in the Indian healthcare provider.

NTK is also seeking an injunction to prevent Daiichi Sankyo from making defamatory remarks against NTK “with respect to the aforesaid open offers”, the publication of a statement on Daiichi Sankyo’s website, and the delivery of a statement to SEBI to vindicate NTK’s reputation.

On November 13, NTK’s court filing was delivered to Daiichi Sankyo by the court, as stated in a statement.

Tort claims

“The claims filed by NTK against Daiichi Sankyo are tort claims premised on the latter’s unlawful interference with NTK’s trade or business, conspiracy of Daiichi Sankyo and other persons, malicious falsehood, and defamation under the applicable substantive laws,” it further added.

A tort claim is said to occur when someone either intentionally or negligently causes injury or harm to another person or his property.

Fortis, in its notification, mentioned that, as claimed by IHH, as of the date of the announcement, the claim is not expected to have material operational or financial impact.”

Fortis Healthcare saw a 10 per cent growth in revenues to ₹1,770 crore for the quarter ending September 30, 2023, against ₹1,607 crore in the year-ago period. Profit after tax, post-adjustment of exceptional items, saw a 16 per cent decline YoY to ₹184 crore. Hospital business revenues grew 12 per cent YoY to Rs 1453 crore, while EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) saw a 13 per cent improvement to ₹268 crore.