Healthscope Limited, together with private equity partners Ironbridge Capital and Archer Capital, are in discussions with Symbion Health to acquire the listed company for an implied value of $4.30 a share.
Allens, led by partner Cameron Price, is acting for Healthscope, and Clayton Utz partner Rod Halstead is advising Symbion.
Clayton Utz is also advising the two private equity firms in the consortium, led by partners David Stammers and Phil Kapp.
The bid involves Healthscope acquiring all of Symbion’s shares through a scheme of arrangement in exchange for cash and Healthscope shares.
After the purchase, Healthscope would retain Symbion’s pathology, medical centres and diagnostic imaging businesses, and divest its pharmacy and consumer businesses to Ironbridge Capital and Archer Capital.
Healthscope and Symbion said the discussions were “incomplete” and no agreement had been reached on the proposal, but Symbion chief executive Robert Cooke has reportedly said the deal was an attractive one “at face value.”
Healthscope said it expected to be able to make a formal announcement on the status of the proposal by the end of May.
Last week, Healthscope and Symbion Health were undertaking due diligence on each other and were also in discussions with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Healthscope said the bid had a “compelling strategic rationale for Healthscope” providing an “improved business mix, national scale in pathology and strong platforms for growth in diagnostic imaging and medical centres”.
Apart from Halstead, Clayton Utz lawyers involved in the deal also include partner Mark Williamson, working with special counsel Patricia Williams and consultant Kate Oliver.