Ascendis’s shares plunge 10% as it denies acquisition rumours
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The shares in Ascendis Health, which recently agreed on a recapitalisation deal with its lenders, on the JSE on Friday slid nearly 10 percent after it denied speculation that it had been approached by a “large US private equity firm” to acquire its shares.
The shares in Ascendis Health, which has a market cap of R274 million, closed down 9.68 percent at 56c.
“It has come to the attention of the company that allegations have been made through social media that certain shareholders have been approached by a ’large US private equity firm’ to acquire all of the Ascendis Health shares.
“The board of directors of Ascendis Health wish to inform shareholders that it has not received any correspondence that would constitute a firm intention to make an offer to Ascendis Health shareholders and that it has not entered into discussions around a process that may result in one being forthcoming in the short- to medium-term,” it said.
It said shareholders would be advised should it either enter into discussions relating to an offer or should it receive a firm intention to make an offer.
On August 30, Ascendis announced it had reached a final recapitalisation agreement with its lenders. In mid-May the group had reached a deal with its creditors Blantyre Capital and L1 Health for the settlement of its outstanding debt of €447 million (R7.6 billion).
In terms of the final deal, shares in Ascendis Health International Holdings, which holds the group’s interests in the Remedica and Sun Wave businesses would be transferred to the lenders. The net disposal proceeds, estimated at R1 million of the sale of the firm’s Animal Health and the Respiratory Care Africa disposal would also go to the lenders.
Ascendis Health would retain its residual South African assets such as its medical devices, consumer health and pharmaceutical divisions.
The agreement would be in place once its conditions are fulfilled by October 29.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE