Abano faces takeover bid after rejecting unsolicited offer

Abano Healthcare, which last week reported a 75 percent jump in annual profit, faces a takeover bid after turning down an offer north of its current $100.2 million market price from an unnamed party alongside director Peter Hutson.

The Auckland-based company received and rejected an unsolicited non-binding indicative offer from a third party seeking to invest and operate in the Australasian dental sector, the company said in a statement. The proposal was presented in conjunction with Hutson, who owns about 14 percent of Abano, and sought an exclusive and confidential period of due diligence from Abano and unanimous board approval.

“The board has now received an indication from the party concerned that, absent the board’s willingness to cooperate on the basis requested in a scheme structure, the party ‘currently intends to promptly move down the takeover path’,” Abano said.

The company turned down the bid, saying it didn’t offer anything unique and that the indicative price “while above current market prices” didn’t reflect the company’s value and wasn’t close to a level warranting exclusivity.

The shares rose 1 percent to $5.86 yesterday, having shed 5.6 percent this year.

Last week Abano reported an increase in net profit to $4.1 million on sales of $207 million, of which about 69 percent came from its dental businesses. The company also flagged plans to raise about $15 million through a small placement and share purchase plan to fund growth aspirations in Asia and Australia.

“The board does not currently intend to further engage with the party concerned, and looks forward to the successful completion of the announced capital raisings and to continuing to execute against the company’s strategic plan,” Abano said.

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