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Apollo Hospitals’ Reddy May Buy Part of Stake Owned by Apax

Jan. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Prathap C. Reddy, founder and chairman of Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Ltd., said he may purchase part of the stake held by private-equity fund Apax Partners LLP in India’s biggest healthcare chain.

Reddy plans to raise his holdings in his company by buying shares either from the secondary market or purchasing 5 percent of equity from London-based Apax, Reddy said in an interview in the southern city of Chennai today. Apax owned 9.67 percent of Apollo as of September 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Apax “has been telling us” about exiting Apollo Hospitals, Reddy said. “I will buy it maybe, or take it from the market. I have two choices.”

India’s securities rules allow founders to buy a maximum of 5 percent of their company’s shares annually from the secondary market. Apax’s unit in Mauritius spent 4.26 billion rupees ($79 million) in 2007 for an 11.4 percent stake in Apollo, according to the healthcare company’s annual report.

Apollo’s shares surged 40 percent in 2012, compared with a 26 percent gain in the benchmark BSE India Sensitive Index. They fell 1.7 percent to 779.70 rupees today in Mumbai.

Ben Harding, a spokesman for Apax in London, declined to comment on the stake sale.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ganesh Nagarajan in Chennai at gnagarajan1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net

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