22 Jun 2020

Abano looks at alternatives to sale to raise $50m-$70m

12:12 pm on 22 June 2020

Trans-Tasman dental company Abano Healthcare appears to have removed the "for sale" from its front window, for the time being at least.

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In a stock exchange statement this morning the company has said it received updated proposals from interested parties over the weekend.

"[The company] does not currently intend to progress a sale of Abano by way of a Scheme of Arrangement option or a "take private" transaction."

Last week, the company confirmed that would-be suitors, Australian private equity firm, BGH Capital and the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, renewed their takeover interest with revised offers of $3 and $3.25 a share.

The bidders had scrapped an earlier $150m bid for Abano at the end of March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Abano had said last week's revised offer did not satisfactorily meet its needs, and that it was assessing other options to raise between $50m-$70m such as finding a cornerstone shareholder which would also underwrite a share issue to existing shareholders.

"In evaluating the options, the Board's criteria includes consideration of Abano's underlying value and sufficient certainty of completion," it said in its latest statement.

The "take private" option referred to would entail one or more of its key shareholders looking to buy out all others.

Abano operates the Lumino dental chain in New Zealand and the Maven brand in Australia, and it repeated that business since reopening its networks has been ahead of expectations.

"While the Board is cognisant of the near term impact of Covid-19 and the uncertainty over the coming months, it expects the business to make a full recovery over time."