Spire Healthcare shareholders have blocked the proposed takeover of the private healthcare provider by Ramsay Health Care.
In late May the boards of both firms revealed they had reached agreement on Ramsay purchasing all Spire shares at 240p each, but in mid-June a shareholder rebellion threatened to jeopardise the deal. The bid was subsequently upped to an improved final bid of 250p per share.
With opposition continuing from some shareholders earlier this month, Spire implored its owners to back the deal, rejecting the claim that Ramsay’s offer undervalued the firm.
However, Spire revealed that at today’s delayed general meeting of shareholders, only 69.88% of shareholders backed the takeover – below the required 75% of shareholder votes required.
Consequently the acquisition has now been terminated and the meeting scheduled for 22 July to sanction the deal will not take place.
Commenting on today’s developments, Spire chairman Sir Ian Cheshire, said: “We respect the decision of our shareholders and will now continue to execute our strategy to deliver growth and create greater value through supporting private patients and the NHS.
“Throughout our ongoing engagement with shareholders, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive towards the long-term strategy and our strong management team.
“We remain confident in the company’s long-term fundamentals and are well positioned for success as a standalone business.
“While the majority of shareholders voted in favour of the scheme, the result is clear. As a board, we are committed to representing the interests of our shareholders and have fulfilled our duty to present the proposed transaction for their consideration, given its value and structure.”
Justin Ash, CEO of Spire, added: “Spire had strong prospects as a standalone business before the offer from Ramsay and that remains the case today.
“Our strategy has, and will continue to, prioritise investment in patient safety and quality of care in order to deliver sustainable long-term growth; this strategy has enjoyed strong shareholder support and we have remained focused on its execution throughout the offer period.
“Led by our purpose, to make a positive difference to patients’ lives through outstanding personalised care, our colleagues have demonstrated outstanding commitment to patients, building admissions and addressing the treatment backlog throughout the pandemic and the transaction. The board and management team are deeply grateful to all of them for their continued dedication.”