30 Mar 2020

Abano Healthcare takeover falls through

12:06 pm on 30 March 2020

The takeover offer for Abano Healthcare is off the table - a casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The company said the $150-million takeover scheme agreement with Adams NZ Bidco Ltd. was terminated, with no fees payable by either party, as a result as the material adverse change to the company's dental businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

Abano's Australian dental practices were closed from today, while the New Zealand dental practices were closed last week when the country went into its four-week lockdown.

However, Abano's board said it was looking at ways to preserve and maximise shareholder value, in response to measures to slow the spread of the virus.

"This includes an intention to engage with Bidco, which has indicated that it is willing to explore whether there is an alternative potential transaction," it said in a statement to the market.

The company was standing down clinical staff in both countries, but was working on a plan to provide emergency dental services.

The leadership team and a small number of support staff were working remotely.

"The temporary closure of all our dental practices will have a significant short term impact, however, we expect the business to rebound once this crisis passes," chief executive Richard Keys said.

The company was working with landlords to reduce rental costs and said discussions had so far been positive.

It was also woking with bankers to assess its finance requirements and currently had net debt of about $130m and total bank facilities of $163m.

"This is an unprecedented situation and, like many, we are making decisions with a view to preserving the future of our business and jobs," Keys said.

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