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Australian healthcare group Healius rejects Partners Group's A$2b buyout offer

[BENGALURU] Australia's Healius on Monday turned down a A$2.12 billion (S$1.85 billion) takeover offer from private equity firm Partners Group, saying it undervalued the medical centre operator.

Healius, however, said it was open to further talks with Partners Group to get a better proposal from the Swiss firm.

Partners Group made a A$3.40 per share all cash offer last month, after buying China's Jangho Group's 15.9 per cent stake in Healius.

Shares of the New South Wales-based Healius, which operates medical centres and pathology services and provides imaging services, were trading 8.1 per cent lower at A$2.49 by 0005 GMT, much lower than the offer price, amid a slump in the broader market.

"We recognise the extreme volatility in the share market at present and the pressure our shareholders are under to deliver returns to their clients," its chairman Rob Hubbard said.

He added: "Healius is also in the process of seeking offers for its medical centres business which is believed to be undervalued in the current share price."

Jangho last year offered to buy out the medical centre operator for A$1.7 billion or A$3.25 per share, but saw its offer declined on grounds that it undervalued the company.

Partners Group was not immediately available for a comment outside regular business hours.

REUTERS