Brookfield in $4.2-billion bid for Australian health-care provider Healthscope

TORONTO - Brookfield Asset Management Inc. has made a $4.2-billion bid for Australian hospital group Healthscope Ltd. that has trumped a rival bid for the health-care provider.

Healthscope says the unsolicited, non-binding indicative proposal came in at $2.41 cash per share, topping a bid of $2.27 it received in late April from a consortium of financial investors.

Melbourne-based Healthscope says Brookfield has indicated it intends to provide existing Healthscope shareholders with an opportunity to invest alongside it in a privatized Healthscope.

Healthscope says Toronto-based Brookfield is already invested in the Australian hospitals business through its Multiplex division involved in hospital construction, and its Global Integrated Solutions business that currently runs facilities management for 11 hospitals in the country.

Brookfield, which attached numerous conditions to its proposal, did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Healthscope is a private health-care provider with 45 hospitals in Australia as well as pathology operations across New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam and more than 18,000 employees.

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