Chinese investment firm Fosun International has announced a bid of €451m ($580m) to acquire Espirito Santo Saude (ESS), a Portugal-based hospital operator.

Offered through Fosun’s Portuguese subsidiary Fidelidade, the €4.72 per share beats the €4.50 per share bid made by Mexico’s Grupo Angeles.

Fosun noted that the bid represents a premium of 31% over the average share price from the previous six months.

"ESS operates hospitals, clinics and elderly care homes across Portugal."

ESS operates hospitals, clinics and elderly care homes across Portugal.

Portuguese healthcare firm Jose de Mello Saude has also submitted a €4.40 per share bid for the business.

Fosun plans to acquire ESS to expand its private healthcare business in China, as the government intends to open the sector for private capital.

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The Espirito Santo group, which is a family owned network of companies with different businesses, has a 51% stake in ESS.

Currently, the group is under creditor protection, as it failed to meet debt payments.

In April, Fosun subsidiary Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical beat US buyout group Carlyl to win the bid to buy Chinese hospital chain Chindex, the Financial Times reported.