Update on Scheme and New Zealand Closure
- Closure of New Zealand dental network for four weeks as mandated by the New Zealand Government
- Scheme Update: Abano has now given formal notice to Bidco under the Scheme Implementation Agreement that there are circumstances that may give rise to a Material Adverse Change.
Abano Healthcare Group Limited (NZX: ABA) advises that, in response to the New Zealand Government’s move to Alert Level 4 from Wednesday 25 March 2020 and mandated closure of all non-essential services, Abano has closed all its New Zealand dental practices as of today. The company continues to seek further guidance on the provision of emergency dental treatment.
The situation in Australia continues to evolve rapidly and Abano is monitoring this closely and will assess the relevance of any announcements on its Australian dental network as they occur.
Abano CEO, Richard Keys, said: “This is an unprecedented environment for New Zealand, our businesses and our communities. Our priority is to preserve the integrity of our business and our highly skilled workforce so that we are ready to recommence dental services once the mandatory closure is lifted and in line with Ministry of Health advice. All existing appointments have been deferred and will be rebooked.
“While there is significant uncertainty surrounding the extent and the duration of COVID-19 and the Alert level 4 status, we are doing our best to assess the operational, financial and banking facility impacts on our business and additional funding requirements.”
Scheme Update: Notice of Potential Material Adverse Change
As a result of the four-week lockdown, Abano has now given formal notice to Bidco under the Scheme Implementation Agreement (SIA) that there are circumstances that may give rise to a Material Adverse Change (MAC). This notice requires Abano and Bidco to consult together for five business days (or longer, by agreement). Following the consultation process, if Bidco considers that there is a MAC and there is no agreement on how to resolve the MAC, Bidco may terminate the SIA. Bidco has indicated that it is willing to engage with Abano to consider an alternative potential transaction if a MAC does occur.
As a result, it is not possible to provide any assurance as to whether the Scheme will proceed and, if so, on what basis. The Board will update shareholders when it has further clarity. Prior to any update, any shareholders who are considering dealing with their Abano shares may wish to consider seeking professional advice.