By Ambar Warrick
Investing.com-- Shares of Australian hospital operator Ramsay Health Care Ltd (ASX:RHC) slumped on Tuesday after the firm said that a consortium led by private equity giant KKR & Co LP (NYSE:KKR) declined to increase a takeover offer for the firm.
Shares of the firm slumped nearly 11% to A$62.82 - their lowest level since mid-March.
Ramsay said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange that the consortium, citing Ramsay’s recent annual results, said it was not in a position to consider its initial all-cash offer for the firm.
The firm logged a nearly 40% decline in its annual statutory profit, and also more than halved its final dividend, citing increasing pressures on costs from rising inflation and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The consortium, which also consists of Australian pension fund HESTA and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, had earlier this year made an all-cash offer for Ramsay, offering A$88 per share, and valuing the private hospital operator at over $14 billion.
But it had then in late August altered the all-cash offer, instead offering A$88 for only the first 5000 shares held by each holder. Holders with a bigger stake in the firm will instead receive about A$78 per share, along with a stake in Ramsay’s French unit, Ramsay Generale de Sante.
Ramsay had declined the alternative offer, stating that it undervalued the firm.
It now remains unclear whether Ramsay will proceed with the alternative offer. The firm warned that the KKR-led consortium could lower its offer even further, based on data from Ramsay's annual results.
“There is no certainty that any further proposal will be forthcoming, or that any proposal would result in a transaction,” Ramsay’s board said in a statement.
But the board also said that the consortium indicated it was open for Ramsay to “reset valuation expectations” and begin negotiations over an alternative deal.