Corporate

$150m foreign takeover bid for Abano

Two foreign investment firms have joined forces to make a $150 million takeover offer for the dental company Abano Healthcare.

Australian private equity firm BGH Capital and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan have formed a takeover vehicle, Bidco, and entered into a scheme of arrangement to buy all of the shares in Abano for $5.70 each.

Abano owns Lumino the Dentists in New Zealand and Maven Dental Group in Australia, and had been assessing offers from numerous parties wanting to buy all or part of the company.

"Following receipt of various expressions of interest, the board appointed external advisers and, over a nearly six-month period, undertook a comprehensive competitive process, to ensure we achieved the best outcome for shareholders," Abano chair Pip Dunphy said.

"After a thorough assessment of the options, including the divestment of individual businesses or the group under different transaction alternatives, and the status quo, the Abano board has concluded that Bidco's Scheme proposal represents the most compelling value for shareholders."

Abano directors said they would back the bid assuming the offer price, which was 24 percent above the company's closing share price on Friday, was assessed as being fair and there were no better offers.

BGH founder, Simon Harle, said Abano was an attractive target.

"We consider Abano to be the pre-eminent dental business in the region."

Shareholders will vote on the deal at a special meeting in the first quarter of next year.

The bid will need approval from the Overseas Investment Office and Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.

A scheme of arrangement requires a lower level of shareholder approval than a full takeover offer under the Takeovers Code.

Abano said it would not pay an interim dividend because of the offer, and said its trading so far this year was just ahead of a year ago and in line with expectations.

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