29 Sep 2010

Abano looking to return sale proceeds to shareholders

12:20 pm on 29 September 2010

Abano Healthcare has sold its stake in National Hearing Care and is mulling over ways to return some of the proceeds to shareholders.

NHC has 200 stores and 240 audiologists throughout Australia, New Zealand and India and has been sold to an Italian audiology company, Amplifon, for just over $A460 million.

Abano paid $15 million for a joint 13% stake in NHC, when it sold Bay Audiology to the company in November.

Chief financial officer Richard Keys says it expects to receive more than $26 million from the sale, but remains committed to the high-growth audiology market.

He says the sale should be settled in late December and the company is board is considering ways to return proceeds to investors early next year.

Shares in Abano have risen 10 cents to $5.30.