A South African private hospital provider has approached Spire Healthcare, one of Britain's largest healthcare firms, with a takeover deal.
Mediclinic International, which already owns 29.9 per cent of Spire, is now considering a deal to buy the rest of the company, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Speculation of a potential takeover helped boost Spire's share price last week, with its stock ending up nearly six per cent higher at 261.3p on Friday.
The firm's stock had slumped in September after Spire announced it would contribute £27.2m to a fund to compensate hundreds of patients who had been wrongly diagnosed by Ian Paterson, a former breast surgeon at Spire hospitals.
Mediclinic, which is listed in Johannesburg and London, bought its current stake for about £430m from private equity firm Cinven in 2015. Its deal is set to value Spire at £1.3bn, according to the Sunday Times, which first reported the news.