October 22, 2017 / 12:47 PM / a year ago

Mediclinic approaches Spire about takeover - source

LONDON (Reuters) - South African private hospitals operator Mediclinic International (MDCM.L) has approached Spire Healthcare (SPI.L) about a deal to take full control of Britain’s second-largest healthcare company, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mediclinic owns 29.9 percent of FTSE 250-listed Spire, a stake it bought for about 430 million pounds from private equity firm Cinven in 2015.

The company, which is listed in Johannesburg and London, is now considering a deal to buy the rest of Spire, the person said.

Spire could issue a statement about the Mediclinic approach as soon as Sunday, the source said.

The potential deal was first reported by The Sunday Times, which said a takeover could value Spire at 1.3 billion pounds.

Spire shares closed at 261.3 pence on Friday, having climbed 5.8 percent on the day amid speculation that Mediclinic was examining an approach and giving the British company a market capitalisation of about 1 billion pounds.

The potential offer comes amid growing scrutiny by the British government of foreign takeovers of UK companies.

Last week, the government announced proposals that will give it more say over deals in the defence and technology sectors and will allow it to examine deals involving much smaller British companies.

Reporting by Ben Martin; editing by Jason Neely

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