Healthscope has opened its books to Brookfield Capital Partners after the private equity firm made a $4.5 billion play for the private hospital operator, trumping a rival offer already on the table.

Healthscope says Brookfield’s offer beats one it had rejected earlier this year, and is worth as much as $2.585 per share – more than the $2.36 offered last month by private equity firm BGH Capital and AustralianSuper.

Brookfield has been granted exclusive due diligence so it can come up with a binding offer for Healthscope, whose shares have now jumped more than 28 per cent since the BGH-AustralianSuper consortium made what was also its second approach.

Healthscope had batted away initial approaches from both Canada’s Brookfield and BGH-AustralianSuper, saying they undervalued the company.

While BGH-AustralianSuper have returned with a substantially unchanged proposal that could have increased in attractiveness due to a fall in Healthscope’s share price, Brookfield has lifted the $2.50 per share value it offered in May.

‘It is superior to the BGH-AustralianSuper proposal and provides enhanced certainty,’ Healthscope chairman Paul Dwyer said.

‘It also offers more options for Healthscope shareholders, including an option to retain an equity exposure to an unlisted Healthscope.’

At 1110 AEDT on Monday, Healthscope shares were up 10.6 per cent at $2.30.