The Malta Independent 21 May 2022, Saturday

VGH investor files prohibitory injunction to stop concession sale

Julian Bonnici Monday, 29 January 2018, 14:17 Last update: about 5 years ago

Ashok Rattehalli, one of the investors involved with Vitals Global Healthcare (VGH), has filed a warrant of prohibitory injunction against the company and Bluestone Investment Malta, to stop the sale of the concession over three state hospitals to Steward Healthcare System, after he was not given any guarantees that his shares will not be effected by the transfer.

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, who is also responsible for Public Private Partnerships, told a press conference last Friday that Steward was due to start operations this week.

The price of the sale of the concession is still unknown. Reliable and well-informed sources have since told the newsroom that VGH was forced into a sale due to mounting financial difficulty and that Minister Mizzi had known about the state of affairs for an entire year prior to the announcement.

Court documents indicate that Rattenhalli filed the injunction to protect his rights in the event of sale or transfer of shares to third parties which would potentially result in the diminishment of the value of his shares within the company.

The documents claim that VGH has failed to provide Rattenhalli, who owns 5% of VGH's shares as stipulated in an Understanding and Promissory Note signed 7 January 2015, with guarantees that his rights will be protected in the sale.

The company has also failed to give Rattehalli the place on the Medical Board he was also promised in the contract.

The Shift News had reported that Rattenhalli had filed a similar injunction on 19 December 2017, only to be withdrawn later in January.

The Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in 2014, four months prior to the call for expressions of interest for the concession, is also referenced in the documents.

Minister Mizzi, has insisted that this MoU was related to a separate project with Malta Enterprise, were the company put forward a proposal for a medical school in Gozo along with a large hospital.

Mizzi said that he, along with Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, had decided against the option as they believed the country needed a middle-sized hospital in Gozo along with the management of other hospitals. 

The Doctors and Nurses unions are currently mulling industrial action over the sale

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