Canadian investment company Brookfield Asset Management has made a $3.3bn bid for leading Australian firm Healthscope, raising the hospital group’s shares 4.9% to a two-year high off the back of the announcement.
The bid from Brookfield is expected to spark a takeover war, with the Canadian firm’s own bid having trumped an offer from local firm BGH Capital, made on 26 April in partnership with AustralianSuper, currently standing at $3.1bn.
With pension fund AustralianSuper currently owning a 14.5% stake in Healthscope, Brookfield’s offer comes with the condition that will prevent AustralianSuper from voting against it if it is accepted.
If successful, the deal will mark the biggest acquisition from a Canadian company on Australian soil since a consortium including Brookfield paid AUD$9bn for Asciano in 2016.
The news follows Toronto-based Northwest Healthcare’s acquisition of a 10% stake in Healthscope for $312mn that was confirmed last week, adding Healthscope’s facilities to its existing property portfolio of 150 medical buildings across Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Germany.
Brookfield is being represented by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, whilst Healthscope has appointed UBS.