Australia’s biggest private hospital operator, Ramsay Health Care, is considering a bid for 26 BUPA hospitals, which could be worth more than £1.2b. The Times.

The Sydney-based group, which operates more than 70 hospitals and day care centres in Australia, and a further three in Indonesia, is understood to have held preliminary talks with several potential backers, including Australian investment bank Macquarie.

Private equity firms, such as Blackstone, Cinven and CVC, are also thought to be interested in bidding for the hospitals.

Citigroup is handling the sale on behalf of BUPA.