Abano Offers to Acquire Audiology from Co-Owner

The Board of Abano Healthcare Group (NZX:ABA) has today advised that the Company has made an unconditional offer to acquire a 50% shareholding in Bay International from interests associated with joint venture partner, Mr Hutson. If the offer is accepted, it will result in Abano owning 100% of the shares in Bay International, thereby resolving all current management, governance and ownership issues.

Chairman of Abano, Trevor Janes, said: “This offer is a genuine attempt to resolve a long running dispute between interests associated with Mr Hutson and Abano in relation to Bay International. While our partnership has produced many positive benefits to both shareholders in the past, it is now time for that partnership to end and we hope this helps resolve the issues between us.

“We have previously offered to Mr Hutson to either buy his holding or sell our holding in Bay International and, while that offer was never responded to, we are happy to now make a formal offer at a level which we believe should be an attractive price for both a buyer or a seller.

“The offer price is $12.9 million. This is the book value of Abano’s 50% holding in Bay International and an investment value that we are very comfortable with given the improved performance, increasing market share and revenue growth of the business, along with a very able management team.

“The KordaMentha report, commissioned by Mr Hutson and released publicly last week, attributes a value range of $6.3 million to $9.4 million to a 50% holding in Bay International. Our offer therefore represents a 105% premium to the lower end of this valuation range and a 37% premium at the upper end.

“We look forward to a positive response from Mr Hutson.”