A bidding war escalated again this morning between private equity groups over Kennett Square's health services provider Genesis HealthCare Corp.

Genesis said that Capital Partners LLC, of San Francisco, has raised its bid for Genesis by $2 per share, to $67.25, or $1.33 billion.

That's 3 percent higher than its own previous bid and is higher than an offer by Formation Capital LLC and JER Partners, according to a Genesis statement. Formation of Alpharetta, Ga., and JER of McLean, Va. planned to join forces to acquire Genesis.

Genesis shareholders are expected to vote on the bids this Friday during their annual meeting in Kennett Square.

Genesis operates more than 200 skilled-nursing centers and assisted-living residences in 13 states. It employs 35,500 people and is run by George V. Hager, chief executive and chairman.

Genesis' stock price has risen 15 percent since January and was up another 2 percent on the Nasdaq exchange this morning, to as high as $66.71.

The Genesis board already has reached a merger agreement with the Formation/JER venture and has voted to recommend approval of the deal to shareholders.

In its statement, the company said its board "is not making any recommendation at this time with respect to Fillmore's proposal. At this time, the board's recommendation in favor of the Formation/JER transaction is unchanged."

Contact staff writer Thomas Ginsberg at 215-854-4177 or tginsberg@phillynews.com.