Company News

UPDATE 1-Australia's Healthscope cuts guidance, to vote on Brookfield bid

(Adds context on takeover, details)

April 16 (Reuters) - Australia’s Healthscope Ltd on Tuesday cut its fiscal 2019 hospital operating earnings guidance and set May 22 as the date for shareholders to vote on the takeover bid from Canadian investment firm Brookfield.

The hospital operator said its guidance cut was prompted by weaker private hospital market conditions, as well as the prioritisation of public over private patient care in the ramp up of its Northern Beaches Hospital in New South Wales.

The company said it was now targeting hospital operating core earnings in a range of A$362 to A$376 million ($258.7 -$268.7 million), or a growth of 5 to 9 percent, from its initial target of at least 10 percent growth on 2018.

Healthscope had reported hospital operating core earnings of A$344.7 million in 2018.

After months of negotiations and rival offers, the company had entered a scheme of arrangement with Brookfield in February for a A$4.35 billion takeover. The deal was approved by Australia’s foreign investment regulator in March. ($1 = 1.3992 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)