29 Nov 2013

Abano takeover bid withdrawn

7:47 am on 29 November 2013

Australian private equity firm, Archer Capital, and former Abano Healthcare director, Peter Hutson, have decided to withdraw their never-formalised bid to take over Abano.

Archer and Mr Hutson are citing a significant downgrade in Abano's profit and concerns about the company's corporate governance as their reasons for withdrawing their latest $7.80 per share offer.

They also complain about what they say is distorted, selective and delayed information presented at Abano's annual shareholder's meeting earlier this week.

At the meeting, the company unveiled an independent valuation by Grant Samuel which said the company's shares are worth between $8.30 and $10.05.

Abano also forecast a rise in first-half net profit but said operating earnings would be down.

In September, Mr Hutson, who owns 15% of Abano and also owns half of the audiology business, was forced to resign from the board under pressure from the other directors because of conflicts of interest relating to the proposed takeover.

Nevertheless, Mr Hutson still manages the audiology business, owned by himself and Abano, and says he can see no reason why that can't continue.