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Abano seeks $18.5 mln in share purchase plan

Wednesday 28th August 2013

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Abano Healthcare, the specialist health clinic investor facing a potential takeover tilt, wants to raise up to $18.5 million at an 8.6 percent discount in a share purchase plan and placement to institutions and eligible investors.

The Auckland-based company raised $9.25 million at $5.95 a share in an underwritten placement to selected institutions and sophisticated investors, and is seeking another $9.25 million from shareholders at the same price, it said in a statement. That's a discount to the last trading price of $6.51.

"We remain in acquisition growth mode, especially in dental in both Australia and New Zealand, with a number of acquisition opportunities," chairman Trevor Janes said. "This capital raising will ensure we have the capacity to continue to invest into dental and our other businesses. It will provide Abano with the flexibility to fund other opportunities as they arise."

The company batted away an informal proposal from a third party linked with director Peter Huston offering more than $100 million to buy the company, and will probably face a takeover bid by the group, which wants to invest and operate in the Australasian dental sector.

Forsyth Barr was the underwriter of the placement, and allotment of the new shares is scheduled for Sept. 2. The share purchase plan will open on Sept. 13 and close on Oct. 1, with $5.75 million underwritten by Forsyth Barr.

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