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Bofa-ML, JM buy 77% of SevenHills debt

MUMBAI: Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Bofa-ML) and J M Fina..

MUMBAI: Bank of America Merrill Lynch (Bofa-ML) and J M Financial Asset Reconstruction Company have together acquired up to 77 per cent of the total debt of cashstrapped SevenHills Healthcare, said two persons involved in the transaction. The purchase of the debt will give the consortium control over the two-hospital operator.

The Bank of America-JM combine has bought Rs 910 crore of SevenHills total debt of Rs 1,300 crore from the lenders led by Axis Bank.

Founded by Jitendra Maganti in 1982, SevenHills has been going through a severe cash crunch for a while and has defaulted on its debt obligations. The company has a hospital each in Mumbai and Visakhapatnam.

Following a financial crisis, its lenders had initiated insolvency proceedings against it at National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Axis Bank had an exposure of Rs 770 crore to SevenHills.

Email queries on the transaction sent to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Company and SevenHills insolvency resolution professional didnt elicit any reply till the time of going to press on Tuesday.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the lead stakeholder in the consortium and this is perhaps the first time a foreign bank has bought a major portion of the total debt of an Indian company, said one of the people quoted above.

Ten parties including Manipal Hospitals,private equity fund Bain, Apollo Global Management,Bank of America Merrill Lynch,hospital chains Apollo Hospitals, Dubaibased Aster DM and Narayana Health in partnership with Piramal Group have shown interest in acquiring the equity of SevenHills. The bids for the equity portion of the company is expected to be opened shortly.

SevenHills Mumbai hospital located in Andheri currently operates at only 20 per cent of its capacity. The initial plan of the company was to have 1,500 beds at the hospital.

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