Friday, 25 May, 2018

Spire Healthcare rejects takeover offer from Mediclinic

Mediclinic warned in February that profits would be impacted by cuts to health benefits in the United Arab Emirates Mediclinic warned in February that profits would be impacted by cuts to health benefits in the United Arab EmiratesReuters
Ellis Copeland | 25 October, 2017, 02:26

When this column last tipped Spire Healthcare Group in June, part of the company's appeal was that it was a potential takeover target for Mediclinic International, the biggest shareholder.

Spire shares closed at 261.3 pence on Friday, having climbed 5.8 percent on the day amid speculation that Mediclinic was examining an approach and giving the British company a market capitalization of about 1 billion pounds.

"Shareholders are strongly advised to take no action in relation to the proposal", the company said on Monday.

Mediclinic said in a trading statement on October 17 that Spire made a provision amounting to £27.6m for the potential cost of a settlement relating to civil litigation over surgeon Ian Paterson, which is before taking account of any potential further recoveries from insurers.

Mediclinic has until 5pm on November 20 to make a firm offer for Spire or abandon the takeover.

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South African private healthcare providers, which also include Life Healthcare and Netcare, have been in a race to expand by making acquisitions in more developed markets as an anti-trust inquiry has constrained growth at home.

Jefferies analyst James Vane-Tempest told The Financial Times that "with no core asset base in the United Kingdom..."

Mediclinic owns 29.9 percent of FTSE 250-listed Spire, a stake it bought for about 430 million pounds ($567 million) from private equity firm Cinven in 2015.

In response to the rejected bid, Spire said in a statement that it had reviewed the proposal, which it said significantly undervalued Spire and its prospects.

Shares in Mediclinic were up 0.6% on Monday morning to 644p.

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