Abano pitches for Dental Partners

Last updated 09:45 25/06/2012

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Medical business operator Abano Healthcare has made a bid to acquire the 30 per cent of Australia's Dental Partners it doesn't already own.

The stake, valued at A$14.4 million (NZ18.3m), is held by Dental Partners chief executive Mike Timoney and board member David Garofalo as well as a number of founding dentists through the Dental Investments Holdings Limited (DIHL) vehicle.

"The investment by Abano is a logical step to increase its shareholding in a highly scalable, private payment, growth business that operates in a very large market," Abano said in a statement to the NZX today.

The offer has the support of the DIHL board members, who collectively control 76 per cent of the investment vehicle.

In addition, Timoney and Garofalo have committed to staying on in their current roles, and will buy NZ$2 million worth of new Abano shares, priced at their average trading level over the preceding 20 days.

The offer is unconditional and subject only to Abano gaining at least 90 per cent of the shares in DIHL, a level Abano is confident it will reach by the end of this month.

Dental Partners operates a network of 53 practices across Australia, and complements Abano's 64 practices in New Zealand which operate under the Lumino The Dentists brand.

Abano has extended its debt facilities with ASB by $10m to 50m to pay for the deal.

Abano shares closed at $4.14 on Friday, and have slid 8 per cent over the past 12 months versus a 6.4 per cent decline by the NZX 50 benchmark.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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