The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hospital in takeover twist
- AMRI Dhakuria heads north with Suraksha revival plan

The ailing Suraksha Hospital at Salt Lake is on the resuscitating table with takeover talks to turn it into a multi-speciality healthcare facility reaching a decisive stage.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Emami-Srachi and Suraksha groups was signed on Saturday and the mandatory due diligence exercise will begin in a few days. The takeover is earmarked for early January.

'We have just signed an MoU and will cross-check all details made available to us by Suraksha Hospital in the next few days. If things go as planned, the takeover will happen next month,' a senior executive of the Emami-Srachi combine told Metro on Monday.

Officials engaged in the exercise said the Emami-Srachi combine (that runs the AMRI Hospitals in Dhakuria) and the Suraksha group, led by the Kejriwals, were discussing a consideration ranging between Rs 40 and Rs 45 crore net of liability. But the figure, they added, could reach around Rs 60 crore if liability was taken into account on the basis of the due diligence.

The Suraksha management remained guarded. Somnath Chatterjee, chief executive officer (CEO) of the hospital, said: 'Talks are underway for a takeover, but we cannot divulge the details.'

Sources said plans are afoot to enhance the existing cardiology, neurology and critical care units of Suraksha. A name game is also underway with one probability being that the Dhakuria set-up would be AMRI Hospitals South and the Salt Lake one AMRI Hospitals North.

'One of the stake-holders in Suraksha is believed to be against the sale, but the odds are stacked against him,' said a senior official of the Association of Hospitals of Eastern India (AHEI).

If the deal goes through, the Bypass will be witness to the healthcare battle between the established brand of Apollo Hospitals and the fledgling AMRI group. Ever since breaking away from the Apollo group, the AMRI board has set its sights on becoming a healthcare player to reckon with in town.

If the Dhakuria hospital is poised to inaugurate its new wing comprising neurology, oncology, trauma care and cardiology, the Suraksha takeover bid is targeted at north Calcutta and North 24-Parganas.

The group is also eyeing a 60-cottah prime plot off EM Bypass to set up another facility, confirmed S.B. Purakayastha, president of AMRI Hospitals.

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