Oct 18 (Reuters) - Blackstone Group LP is the lead bidder to acquire Team Health Holdings Inc, the U.S. hospital staffing provider that has been the target of activist funds, including Jana Partners LLC, according to people familiar with the matter.
Blackstone, a New-York based private equity firm, has prevailed over other bidders in the auction for Team Health, and is in the process of negotiating final terms for an acquisition, the people said on Tuesday, cautioning that it is still possible that the talks end without a deal.
The value of Blackstone's offer could not be learned. The sources asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Blackstone and Team Health declined to comment.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 4, citing sources it did not identify, that Team Health was exploring a sale to a private equity firm, and that Blackstone was one of the firms in discussions with the company. (Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Carl O'Donnell in New York; Additional reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York; editing by Diane Craft)