SYDNEY, May 7 (Reuters) - Pathology staff at Australian medical services firm Symbion Health Ltd. SYB.AX are considering a bid for the pathology business following a takeover offer for Symbion by Healthscope Ltd. (ASX: HSP.ax) , the Australian Financial Review reported on Monday.
The paper said some 100 of Symbion's 150 pathology staff, unhappy with current working conditions and expecting worse under Healthscope, have formed a group to discuss their options, and have held talks about a bid for the business with a private equity firm.
Earlier this month, hospital operator Healthscope, in partnership with private equity firms Ironbridge Capital and Archer Capital, offered A$2.78 billion ($2.3 billion) in cash and shares for Symbion.
If the offer succeeds, Healthscope would acquire Symbion's pathology, medical centres and diagnostic imaging businesses, while Ironbridge and Archer would acquire the pharmacy distribution and consumer arms, which account for around a third of Symbion earnings.
"There is a consideration that dealing with Healthscope is worse than Symbion," the paper quoted an unidentified spokesperson for the pathologists as saying.
The staff are also considering leaving Symbion, the paper said, a claim rejected by Symbion Chief Executive Robert Cooke.
The paper also quoted an undentified analyst as saying that rival pathology company Sonic Healthcare Ltd. (ASX: SHL.ax) could benefit by taking on the disaffected Symbion staff.