Abano rebuffs takeover bid

Abano Healthcare’s board has rejected both the increased hostile takeover offer by Healthcare Partners and its request to undertake due diligence on the transtasman dental chain operator.

This week, Healthcare Partners upped its offer 1.6%, from $10 to $10.16, conditional on reaching a controlling 50.1% stake.

However, Healthcare Partners represents dissident majority shareholder group Peter Hutson, Anya Hutson and James Reeves, who have only managed to increase their stake from 19% to 20% since launching the hostile bid in early November.

While Abano’s board is on a dental practice buying spree, having just attained 100 Lumino-branded practices in New Zealand and 100 Maven-branded Australian practices, Healthcare Partners wants to slow acquisitions and pay off debt.

Abano chairman Trevor Janes  yesterday again advised shareholders to reject the revised Healthcare Partners partial takeover offer Mr Janes said shareholders were likely to be left  minority shareholders in a company controlled by Healthcare Partners, which "has its own agenda with an unclear and unspecified strategy".

Abano  unanimously rejected the suggestion by Healthcare Partners that Abano should open up the company’s financial records to allow due diligence by Healthcare, and also "other unspecified and as yet unidentified interested parties" who wanted to explore the possibility of making a 100% offer, Mr Janes said in a market update yesterday.


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