Healthscope gets RM12.3b bid from group it rejected in May


SYDNEY • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. A bidding group led by buyout firm BGH Capital and pension fund AustralianSuper yesterday made a fresh A$4.1 billion (RM12.3 billion) take-over approach for hospital operator Healthscope Ltd, five months after having a similar bid rejected as too low.

Since then, Healthscope shares have plunged as much as 30%, closing on Monday at an eight-month low of A$1.785. The BGH-led offer values shares of the Melbourne-based company at A$2.36 each, the same price it offered earlier this year.

Healthscope in May also rejected a A$2.50-a-share bid from Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Healthscope’s shares jumped as much as 22% to A$2.17 in Sydney trading yesterday for its biggest intraday gain on record.

AustralianSuper, the nation’s largest pension fund, owns 14.5% of Healthscope. The bidders have the support of Ellerston Capital — which owns a further 9.4% stake according to data compiled by Bloomberg — to be given access to Healthscope’s books, the company said in a statement.

Healthscope, which is being advised by UBS Group AG, said it will assess the new offer, but advised shareholders not to take any action.

The company runs 45 hospitals in Australia, and has pathology operations across New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, according to its website.

BGH Capital was founded last year by a trio of dealmakers including Robin Bishop, the former head of Macquarie Group Ltd’s investment banking operations in Australia and New Zealand.