Indian healthcare major Fortis was on Wednesday given time till July 30 to make counter offer to Malaysain fund Khazanah’s $ 835 million bid for majority stake in Singapore hospital chain Parkway, a tug of war that has prompted Morgan Stanely to go on share buying.

Singapore regulator Securities Industry Council (SIC) said Parkway Holdings shareholders should be given sufficient information, advice and time to enable them to reach an informed decision on the partial offer by Khazanah group entity IHHL (Integrated Healthcare Holdings Ltd).

Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley on Wednesday said one of its investment arms FrontPoint Management has bought 1.15 lakh additional shares in the Fortis-controlled Singapore hospital chain Parkway at a price of 3.77 Singapore dollars per share.

With this, the total number of shares held by Morgan Stanley in the Singapore-based healthcare provider has gone up to 3.9 lakh shares, the company said in a filing to the Singapore Stock Exchange. Morgan Stanley had acquired 1.1 lakh shares of Parkway at 3.84 Singapore dollars a share last week.

“...the SIC on 16 June, 2010 required Fortis to announce by 30 July, 2010 whether or not it will be making a general offer for Parkway...,” Singapore Securities Industry Council said in a statement. The move is also aimed at “the need not to disturb the existing tactical balance between Integrated Healthcare and Fortis,” it added.

When contacted Fortis spokesperson declined to comment on the issue.

The development comes in the back drop of Tuesday’s announcement by New Delhi-headquartered Fortis that it is keeping its options open about a counterbid for Parkway. “At this stage, the company wishes to announce that it is keeping its options open in relation to the Khazanah partial offer and will continue to evaluate its options in the best interest of shareholders of the company,” Fortis had said in a statement on Tuesday.

Fortis has a 25 per cent stake in Parkway and is facing a challenge from Khazanah group firm, IHHL for control of the healthcare chain. IHHL had made a partial offer to increase its holdings to 51.5 per cent from the current 23 per cent by offering a partial offer to acquire 313 million shares of Parkway at SGD 3.78 per share.

Earlier in March, Fortis had bought a 23.9 per cent stake in Parkway Holdings for about $ 685.3 million (nearly Rs 3,100 crore) from TPG Capital (formerly Texas Pacific Group).

Subsequently, the current Chairman of Fortis Healthcare, Malvinder Mohan Singh took over as the Chairman of the board of the Singapore-based firm.

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