(Bloomberg) -- PAI Partners is among final bidders competing to acquire German eye-care operator Veonet Group from Nordic Capital amid a boom in health-care dealmaking, people familiar with the matter said. 

The buyout firm has emerged as a frontrunner for the asset in the bidding process, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. Veonet could be valued at 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in a sale, the people said.

Discussions are ongoing and there’s still the chance another bidder could emerge, according to the people. Representatives for PAI Partners and Nordic Capital declined to comment. 

Veonet, formerly Ober Scharrer Group, provides ophthalmologic care and outpatient treatment for major causes of blindness and visual impairment. The company operates about 150 clinics in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the U.K., serving more than 1.2 million customers each year, according to Nordic’s website. It generated revenue of 330 million euros in 2020.

The value of deals targeting health-care companies has risen 73% this year to $446 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, with the sector continuing to prove popular among private equity buyers. 

Cinven agreed to acquire a majority stake in drug-research services company BioAgilytix, Bloomberg News reported last week, while bidders including Australian medical lab company Sonic Healthcare Ltd. and French rival Biogroup-LCD are eyeing Unilabs, the $5 billion diagnostics firm being sold by Apax Partners. 

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