Fosun to Buy 51% Stake in Espirito Santo

By Joao Lima | October 10, 2014

Rioforte Investments SA will sell a 51 percent stake in Espirito Santo Saude SGPS SA to Fosun Group’s Fidelidade unit after that bidder raised its offer price for the Portuguese hospital operator.

Rioforte said it agreed to sell the 51 percent stake in Espirito Santo Saude held by Espirito Santo Health Care Investments SA, or ESHCI, according to a statement posted on the Portuguese securities regulator’s website. Rioforte, part of the Espirito Santo Group, has requested creditor protection at a court in Luxembourg.

Shanghai-based Fosun last night topped UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s bid for the 51 percent stake in Espirito Santo Saude, and UnitedHealth was later told by Portugal’s securities regulator to withdraw its offer. Fosun raised its offer for all of the Portuguese heath-care provider’s shares to 5.01 euros each, topping by 1 euro cent UnitedHealth’s Oct. 7 offer for the majority stake controlled by ESHCI.

Espirito Santo Saude shares slipped 0.4 percent to 4.95 euros at 9 a.m. in Lisbon, up 55 percent from the initial public offering price of 3.2 euros in February. The securities regulator said yesterday that the results of the offer are expected to be announced by the Lisbon exchange on Oct. 15.

Fosun earlier this year beat a bid from U.S. buyout firm Apollo Management International LLP to buy 80 percent of insurer Fidelidade from the Portuguese government.

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