July 5 (Reuters) – Fortis Healthcare (FOHE.BO), locked in a battle to take control of Singapore’s Parkway Holdings (PARM.SI), said on Monday the owners of the Indian hospital chain had revoked about 39 million pledged shares, or nearly 10 percent of total outstanding equity.
After the transaction, the percentage of shares pledged to total number of Fortis’ outstanding shares was roughly 31 percent, the company said in a disclosure to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
It did not provide details of the transaction in the stock exchange filing.
Companies usually pledge shares to raise funds and the agreement is revoked when the loans are repayed.
Fortis, which controls just over 25 percent of Parkway, had intended to build a controlling stake in the Singapore firm before Malaysian state fund Khazanah made a surprise $835 million partial offer in May to lift its stake to 51.5 percent. [ID:nSGE64Q042]
Analysts say billionaire brothers Malvinder and Shivinder Singh, who control Fortis, have the access to capital to challenge the Malaysian fund, although Khazanah has far deeper pockets, with $28 billion in assets. (Reporting by Sumeet Chatterjee; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)