The Age - Australia
Hospital bids come in
Rebecca Urban and Helen Westerman
August 8, 2005
Tenders have closed for the sale of the Freemasons Hospital in East Melbourne, with the advisers expected to cull applicants to a shortlist later this week.
Sources close to the sale have reported interest from listed and not-for-profit hospital groups.
Publicly listed Healthscope, which has been increasingly acquisitive over the past year by snapping up Gribbles Group and Nova Health, is believed to have made an offer along with The Epworth and St Vincent's Health. Ramsay Health Care has apparently passed up the offer, choosing to focus on its $1.4 billion acquisition of Affinity Health.
The blue-chip location of the Freemasons, which operates from two sites in East Melbourne, is believed to have attracted interest from property developers — despite the seller's intention that the business be sold as a going concern.
The sale is expected to include the Clarendon Street freehold, while Freemasons Victoria will keep its Victoria Parade property and underground car park.