26 Nov 2013

Formal takeover offer wanted for Abano

5:26 pm on 26 November 2013

Abano Healthcare's shares are worth between $8.30 and $10.05, according to an independent valuation by consultancy firm Grant Samuel.

Abano's shares rose 3 cents to $7.10 during Tuesday's trading.

Presented to the annual shareholders' meeting, the report was commissioned by the board as part of its defence against a takeover attempt by the Australian venture capital firm, Archer Capital, and former director, Peter Hutson.

Previously, Abano has said Archer was offering up to $7.14 a share for Abano and that Abano's dental operations alone are worth about $250 million.

The Grant Samuel report values Abano - as an enterprise - between $258 million and $291 million.

Company chairman Trevor Janes told Tuesday's meeting the Grant Samuel report supported the board's view that Archer's approach was opportunistic and undervalues Abano.

Mr Janes said the Archer/Hutson approach had led to other proposals which could deliver significantly higher value to shareholders and which the board was still evaluating.

Archer's prosposal included selling Abano's 50% of its audiology business to Mr Hutson, who owns the other half, for a nominal sum.

Mr Janes says Grant Samuel values Abano's 50% of the audiology business between $16.7 million and $19.8 million.


Mr Janes says profit for the six months ending this month should be between $1.8 million and $2.3 million compared with $1.5 million in the same period last year.

Mr Janes says shareholder value is at the core of everything the company does and since 2006 shareholders have received a more than 37% annual return on their investment.

Separately, the Shareholders Association is calling on both Archer Capital and Mr Hutson to make a formal takeover offer for Abano.

In September, Mr Hutson, who holds a 15% of the company and also half of the Bay Audiology business, and another shareholder owning nearly 5% gave Archer rights over their shares for 150 days.

Mr Hutson resigned from Abano's board under pressure from the other directors on the grounds he had a conflict of interest.