Spire, the UK's largest private hospital group, was today delivered a blow after South African suitor Mediclinic stepped away from its takeover attempt.
Shares in the FTSE 250 firm slid over seven per cent in the wake of the news.
Mediclinic, which already owns almost 30 per cent of Spire, said it was "disappointed" last month's full takeover offer was rejected by the Spire board. However, it said it will remain a "supportive shareholder" of the hospital group.
The takeover offer valued Spire's shares at 315.5p each - today's announcement sent them tumbling to around 250p.
New Spire chief executive Justin Ash recently kicked off a portfolio review of Spire's 39 private hospitals, 10 clinics and two specialist cancer care centres. The firm said he had been "encouraged" by findings to date with Ash "fully focussed" on medium-term growth opportunities.
"The board carefully considered Mediclinic's approach but determined that it did not reflect the true value of the company and was not in the best interests of shareholders as a whole," said Spire chairman Garry Watts.