A consortium has launched a $4 billion takeover for Healthscope

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A consortium headed by private equity firm BGH Capital Fund has launched a $4.1 billion takeover of Healthscope, Australia’s second biggest private hospital operator.

The takeover group includes AustralianSuper, Carob Investment Private Limited, a subsidiary of GIC Ventures, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

AustralianSuper currently has a shareholding of 14% in Healthscope.

The proposal, at an indicative price of $2.36 cash a share, a premium of about 16%, is by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Healthscope shares last traded at $2.03. When listed on the ASX in July 2014 they were $2.10 each.

The Healthscope board of directors has started an assessment of the proposal.

“Healthscope shareholders do not need to take any action in relation to the proposal at this stage,” the board said. “There is no certainty that the proposal will result in a transaction.”

In the latest half year results, the company posted a 12.6% fall in net profit to $77.5 million. However, revenue was up almost 5% to $1.22 billion for the six months.

Gordon Ballantyne, Healthscope Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, then described the private hospital market conditions as “softer”.

A deal would represent a return to private equity for Healthscope, which was formerly owned TPG (during Mr Gray’s time in charge of the private equity firm) and The Carlye Group.

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