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Shares in Spire Healthcare drop more than 9% as £1bn takeover by Ramsay fails to get green light

·2-min read
Spire Healthcare runs a number of private hospitals in the UK (Spire press image)
Spire Healthcare runs a number of private hospitals in the UK (Spire press image)

Plans by Ramsay Health Care for a deal for private hospitals operator Spire Healthcare have not secured enough support from shareholders in the takeover target.

Ramsay, a company on the Australian stock exchange with a number of facilities in the UK, proposed a 240p per share offer in May. That was increased to 250p per share.

The increased final offer represented a 30% premium to the share price on the day prior to the announcement of the initial offer and the board recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the deal.

But some shareholders viewed the offer as too low. Spire today said that total votes in favour of the resolutions were 69.88% (at the general meeting) and 72.07% (at the court Meeting), which are below the minimum threshold (75% of shares voted) needed to approve the resolutions to effect the acquisition by Ramsay.

Spire said: “Accordingly, the acquisition of Spire by Ramsay has been terminated and the scheme has lapsed.”

A spokesman for Toscafund, a shareholder in Spire, said: “We are pleased that a significant number of shareholders agreed with us and have firmly rejected this inadequate offer from Ramsay Healthcare. Spire is a successful and highly valuable hospital group and should deserve a higher rating in the future. As committed shareholders, we now look forward to discussions with the management and the board on the optimum course for the business.”

Justin Ash, chief executive of Spire, said: “Spire had strong prospects as a standalone business before the offer from Ramsay and that remains the case today.”

The group’s chairman Sir Ian Cheshire said: “We respect the decision of our shareholders and will now continue to execute our strategy to deliver growth and create greater value through supporting private patients and the NHS.”

The shares fell 9.79%, or 23p, to 212p.

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