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Merger on the cards?
June, 26th 2009

Over the past few months, the healthcare industry has been buzzing with news of a merger or buyout of one large hospital chain or the other. 

It could be called the southern comfort as two of South India's biggest health care brands, Apollo Hospitals and Manipal Hospitals, plan to collaborate.

Apollo, which has been on the lookout for acquisitions, is in talks with Manipal for a stake.

Suneeta Reddy, executive director of finance at Apollo Hospitals, said, We are looking at acquisitions and Manipal is a good option"

Manipal Hospitals, so far restricted to the region around Mangalore, is open to selling a large stake or being acquired.

Sources at Manipal told NDTV that the hospital chain was closed to the idea of being acquired and that it was a decision that needed to be taken by the company's board and its investors.

For Apollo, Manipal could be a good fit since its profitable and will bring on board synergies for clinical research.

"We have three criteria that we look at in an acquisition. One is price precaution, two is that it has to give ROCE of 20 per cent and third is clinical integration."

Meanwhile, for now, it is clear that Indias healthcare infrastructure is looking for a boost and companies are actively trying mergers and acquisitions to expand and get scale.

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