Fosun Raises ES Saude Bid; UnitedHealth Told to Withdraw Offer

Fosun Group topped UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s bid for 51 percent of Espirito Santo Saude SGPS SA, and UnitedHealth was later told by Portugal’s securities regulator to withdraw its offer.

Fosun yesterday 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 Espirito Santo Health Care Investments, a unit of the Espirito Santo Group. UnitedHealth said then it would bid for the remaining shares if its offer were accepted.

Portugal’s securities regulator, the CMVM, later yesterday told U.S.-based UnitedHealth its proposal violated takeover rules and had to be withdrawn.

The bid by Shanghai-based Fosun, through its Portuguese unit Fidelidade, values Espirito Santo Saude at about 478.5 million euros ($607 million). It’s the second time in less than three weeks that Fidelidade increased its offer, after originally bidding 4.72 euros a share.

The CMVM said yesterday that Fosun’s offer, which was scheduled to end today, will be extended until Oct. 14. The results of the offer are expected to be announced by Euronext Lisbon on Oct. 15, the CMVM said in an e-mailed statement.

Espirito Santo Saude shares rose 0.1 percent to 4.97 euros yesterday in Lisbon, up 55 percent from the initial public offering price of 3.2 euros in February.

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