Business

Mediclinic accepts £3.7 Billion bid from Rupert’s Remgro

Mediclinic has agreed to the latest in a series of offers from a consortium led by billionaire Johann Rupert, valuing the South African hospital operator at 3.7 billion pounds (R74.88 billion).

Rupert’s investment group Remgro, already Mediclinic’s biggest shareholder, is partnering with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA to pay 504 pence a share for the stock it doesn’t already own, according to a statement on Thursday. That was the fourth approach, including a 463 pence bid that was rejected in June.

Mediclinic shares gained 3.4% to 501 pence as of 1:41 p.m. in London, having climbed 56% this year amid the takeover battle. The company has healthcare facilities in Switzerland and the UAE as well as South Africa, where it has a dual listing.
The deal still needs approval from shareholders representing 75% of votes cast at a general meeting, and “pressure from minorities for improved terms is a real possibility,” analysts at financial group Cowen said in a note.

The proposed valuation is less than Mediclinic’s 2017 offer to buy out Spire Healthcare Group Plc, a UK private hospital operator it partially owns, which was ultimately rejected, they said.

Portfolio Shakeup

Remgro, a long-term Mediclinic investor, has a 45% stake. The Public Investment Corp., Africa’s biggest money manager, holds about 11%.

The Stellenbosch-based company has been shaking up its portfolio in recent months, increasing the number of unlisted assets and selling a 30% stake in Distell Group Holdings Ltd., South Africa’s largest wine and spirits maker, to Heineken NV.

Rupert, 72, who has a net worth of almost $10 billion (R167.1 billion), according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is South Africa’s richest person.

The deal represents another expansion for MSC, which has grown in stature after cargo transport boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The container group also bought the African transport and logistics business of Bollore SA for $6.3 billion.

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