Monday 5 July 2021 7:24 pm

Ramsay sweetens the deal for Spire Healthcare takeover with higher bid

A sweetened offer should help the medicine go down for Spire Healthcare investors, who today were offered an increased 250p per share takeover bid by Ramsay Health Care.

The increased offer, from 240p per share first offered in May, is final and comes after influential proxy shareholder group Glass Lewis urged investors to reject the deal

The higher bid represents a 30 per cent premium to the share price on the day prior to the announcement of the initial offer and a 41 per cent premium to the three-month average share price prior to the announcement of the first offer, Spire said today.

Spire’s board has unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the takeover.

However, one shareholder, Toscafund, knocked back the increased offer.

A Toscafund spokesman said “This new offer continues to substantially undervalue Spire as shown by the valuations provided by Glass Lewis and we will be voting against.”

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.”

Despite the increased takeover price, share in Spire fell more than two per cent by the close today.

Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Cazenove are advising Spire on the deal.

Spire today also said in the first five months to 31 May 2021 revenues were higher than the equivalent period in 2019.

The company said it still anticipates the NHS will need to increase contracting with the independent sector in the second half of this year, “although it awaits clarity on the NHS’s intentions in this regard”.

Spire’s costs in in the first half have been significantly affected by Covid-19, it said.

“This includes extensive use of PPE, staff and patient testing, and increased staffing ratios for safe patient care. Staff absence is currently increasing in large part due to self-isolation required by Test and Trace, driving increased use of agency staff in a tight staffing market”.