Australian Unity has rejected a sweetened offer from NorthWest Healthcare Properties to buy its wholesale hospital trust for A$2.5bn (€1.6bn).

The Canadian suitor, which is backed by Singapore’s GIC, made an initial offer of A$2.20 per unit last month to buy Australian Unity Healthcare Property Trust (AUHPT).

A fortnight ago, it lifted its offer to A$2.35 per unit, around a 7% increase over its initial bid.

NorthWest has already acquired a little over 16% of units in the trust which owns what is Australia’s last remaining privately-owned scale portfolio of 62 hospital and healthcare assets.

In a letter to unitholders, Rohan Mead, chair of Australian Unity Management, the responsible entity for AUHPT, said the board had rejected the NorthWest offer because it was “not in the best interests” of unitholders.

“The board believes the revised proposal still significantly undervalues AUHPT, having regard to the current and expected future value of the portfolio and the benefits it could deliver to a potential acquirer.”

Mead said that the board had also engaged with counterparties and other stakeholders associated with and highly important to the ongoing operations of AUHPT.

“Feedback from these parties supports the view that, given the uncertainty inherent in the NorthWest approach, further engagement with respect to the revised proposal could introduce significant risk to AUHPT’s ongoing commercial and operational relationships with key tenants and stakeholders.”

To read the digital edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.