Two of America's biggest hospital groups have submitted a joint €125m bid to buy south Dublin's well-known Blackrock Clinic.
California-based Dignity Health, the fifth-largest hospital group in America, has teamed up with United Surgical Partners International, the owner of 200 surgical centres in the US and England, to table the offer. The bid will attempt to unlock a shareholder deadlock that has pitted Larry Goodman, the meat magnate, against two of his fellow shareholders, Joe Sheehan, a surgeon who co-founded the hospital, and John Flynn, a developer.
Mr Goodman, who owns 40 per cent of the hospital, has told both Mr Sheehan and Mr Flynn that he believes that under the clinic's shareholders' agreement they can only sell their holding to existing shareholders. This effectively means Mr Goodman.
Both Mr Sheehan and Mr Flynn have objected to this as they believe putting the entire hospital up for sale internationally will realise a much higher price.
Jimmy Sheehan, a brother of Joe, however, has backed Mr Goodman in his position.
The Blackrock Clinic, which opened in 1983 in one of Dublin's wealthiest suburbs, has defied the downturn and is an immensely valuable property. It made a profit of €11.8m after tax in 2010 on revenues of €86.6m.
Emerald Health Care Capital, another American consortium, made an offer of €175m to buy the hospital last year. However, with the shareholders unable to reach agreement, the offer faded away.