Spire Healthcare : delays vote on £1bn Ramsay takeover as investors voice concerns
07/07/2021 | 04:22am EDT
The waiting list is growing longer at private hospitals group Spire Healthcare, which today delayed the vote on its £1bn takeover by Ramsay Health Care.
The short interval, it explained, was because “a number of investors have requested a short extension to the process to allow them to exercise voting rights”.
Shares are down more than 3.5 per cent this morning to 229p.
Ramsay this week topped up the offer from 240p per share to 250p per share, but investors such as Toscafund and Fidelity said the deal still undervalues the private hospitals business.
They think the increasing pressures on the NHS will prove beneficial to the private healthcare sector.
Proxy investor group Glass Lewis over the weekend said: “We do not believe the proposed transaction provides sufficiently compelling value relative to Spire’s business prospects, assets and current trading level.
“We do not believe the proposed transaction is in the best interests of Spire shareholders at this time.”
This morning Sir Ian Cheshire, Chairman of Spire, said: “The Spire Board respects the views of all shareholders and it is incumbent on us to ensure the voting process is fair and open to all. A number of investors have requested a short extension to the process to allow them to exercise voting rights, and it is our responsibility to ensure that as many shareholders as possible have the opportunity to express their views.
“We urge all shareholders to take advantage of this extension and remind them of the Spire Board’s previous unanimous recommendation to vote in favour of the proposal from Ramsay,” he added.
Voting will now take place on 15 July, with a general meeting on 19 July.