The Chinese have joined the takeover battle for Portugal’s Espirito Santo Saude (ESS).
Conglomerate Fosun International is bidding 451 million euros; that is more than the other two interested parties – Portuguese healthcare firm Jose de Mello Saude and Mexico’s Grupo Angeles.
ESS is up for sale because the beleaguered Espirito Santo family needs to sell assets after its main holding companies filed for creditor protection in July under a mountain of debt.
They own 51 percent of ESS, which runs hospitals, clinics and elderly care homes around Portugal.
Fosun has been increasingly active on the global stage, snapping up Portuguese insurer Caixa Seguros e Saude in January and upping a bid for holiday group Club Med this month.
Fosun is also looking to boost its private healthcare business, a growing area in China as the government looks to open the sector up to private capital.