Healthscope now has a second takeover offer at $4.5 billion

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Healthscope, Australia’s second biggest private hospital operator, just received a second takeover offer, this time from Brookfield Capital Partners, at around $4.5 billion.

The group already has a $4.1 billion bid from a consortium headed by private equity firm BGH Capital and industry fund AustralianSuper. That proposal has an indicative price of $2.36 cash share.

The new offer from Brookfield Capital Partners, together with its affiliates and their managed funds, has a total value of up to $2.585 a share.

A short time ago, Healthscope shares were up 11.3% to $2.315.

Healthscope also announced that it has decided not to provide due diligence access to the AustralianSuper consortium on the basis that its proposal is significantly less attractive than the Brookfield proposal.

The company has decided to give Brookfield the opportunity to conduct exclusive due diligence.

“We consider the Brookfield Proposal to be attractive for shareholders,” the company says.

“It is superior to the BGH/AustralianSuper proposal and provides enhanced certainty. It also offers more options for Healthscope shareholders, including an option to retain an equity exposure to an unlisted Healthscope.”

The Brookfield bid is an improvement on an offer made by the Canadian group in May at $2.50 a share.

Healthscope has 45 hospitals, pathology operations across New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and 18,000 employees.

The company in August posted a 3.7% rise in full year revenue to $2.34 billion. Net profit after tax was down by 50% to $75.8 million after the closure of some under-performing hospitals, the sale of medical centres and its Asian Pathology businesses.

BGH Capital and AustralianSuper are also in a joint $2 billion bid for educational services providers Navitas.