Australian IVF service provider Virtus accepts $514 million offer from CapVest

March 14 (Reuters) – Australia’s Virtus Health Ltd said on Monday it had accepted a sweetened A$704.8 million ($514 million) takeover offer from CapVest Partners LLP, which outperformed an improved offer from the rival bidder BGH Capital.

After resuming trading, shares of Virtus soared more than 8% to A$8.33 to their highest level since August 2016, topping CapVest’s offer price.

However, the months-long bidding war for the in vitro fertilization (IVF) service provider was not necessarily over, as the deal with London-based CapVest allows Virtus’ board to consider a superior proposal from Melbourne-based BGH or another party. Read more

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“The Board remains in a position to review and advance superior proposals that all parties subsequently file,” he said.

CapVest’s revised cash offer of A$8.25 per share is a 7% premium to Virtus’ Thursday close and a 58% premium to its December 13 close, before trading began. bidding war.

The deal will help Virtus, which currently operates around 40 fertility clinics around the world, to expand its fertility business in Australia and internationally, its chief executive Kate Munnings said in a statement.

The deal, unanimously recommended by the company’s board, supersedes an offer of A$8.10 per share from Melbourne-based BGH Capital made after the market closed on March 10. This offer was conditional on Virtus not signing an implementing deed with London-based CapVest.

The latest CapVest transaction includes a possible concurrent off-market tender offer, if it fails to meet the required minimum threshold of 50% shareholder acceptance.

The board said it could pay a special, fully franked dividend of 44 cents per share in cash no later than the implementation of the CapVest transaction.

Shares of Virtus have jumped around 64% since the end of 2019, underscoring growing demand for IVF treatment since the start of the pandemic.

BGH Capital did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

($1 = 1.3723 Australian dollars)

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Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bangalore; Editing by Richard Chang, Jane Wardell and Rashmi Aich

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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