Australia: Healius rejects A$2.12bn takeover bid from Partners Group

Australian healthcare company Healius has rejected a A$2.12bn (US$1.40bn) takeover offer from private equity group Partners Group.

“After careful consideration of the proposal and after consulting with the some of its largest shareholders, the board of Healius unanimously rejects the proposal on the basis that it neither reflects the fundamental value of the company nor represents compelling value for exclusive due diligence,” it said in a statement to the ASX.

But it kept the door open for an improved offer. It added that it was willing to engage with Partners Group “to explore the prospects of a superior proposal reflective of the company’s fundamental value.”

Towards the end of March Partners Group made a A$3.40 per share bid for the group after it bought out China’s Jangho Group, which at the time held an aggregate 15.93% of the issued share capital of Healius and was its largest shareholder.

Jangho Group’s own offer of A$3.25 per share was previously rejected.

“We recognise the extreme volatility in the share market at present and the pressure our shareholders are under to deliver returns to their clients,” said Healius chairman Rob Hubbard, adding that the company was continuing to experience solid growth in its pathology, imaging and day hospitals divisions and that it is taking “active steps” to reduce the group’s cost base.

In late February the group reported solid half year results. Profits more than tripled to A$66m, while they were up 7% on an underlying basis to A$42m on revenues that were up 7.5% to A$945.1m.