(Bloomberg) -- Medical equipment maker Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. has rejected a $9.6 billion takeover offer from Baxter International Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said.

Hill-Rom sees Baxter’s proposal of about $144 per share as too low, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Considerations are ongoing, and Baxter could return with a higher bid, the people said.

Shares of Hill-Rom jumped as much as 15% in U.S. trading Wednesday, the biggest intraday gain since March 2020, to hit a record high after Bloomberg News reported the takeover bid. The stock was up 8.4% to $134.20 at 12:14 p.m. in New York.

Representatives for Hill-Rom and Deerfield, Illinois-based Baxter declined to comment.

Mergers and acquisitions involving health-care companies have nearly tripled this year to $353 billion, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Hill-Rom, based in Chicago, makes a range of hospital equipment including stretchers, patient monitors, operating tables and electrocardiographs, according to its website.

(Updates with share movement in third paragraph)

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