Australia's Healius rejects Partners Group's $1.3 billion buyout offer

(Reuters) – Australia’s Healius Ltd (HLS.AX) on Monday turned down a A$2.12 billion ($1.31 billion) takeover offer from private equity firm Partners Group (PGHN.S), saying it undervalued the medical center operator.

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

Partners made a A$3.40 per share all cash offer last month, after buying China’s Jangho Group Co Ltd’s (601886.SS) 15.9% stake in Healius.

Shares of New South Wales-based company were trading 8.1% lower at A$2.49 by 0005 GMT, much lower than the offer price, amid a slump in the broader market .

“We recognize the extreme volatility in the share market at present and the pressure our shareholders are under to deliver returns to their clients,” Chairman Rob Hubbard said.

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

Jangho last year offered to buyout the medical center 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.

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