Mid-market, healthcare IT provider Ascribe has agreed a £32.9m management buyout backed by ECI private equity fund.
The offer, by Scroll Bidco, is 28p per share in cash and values Ascribe at £32.9m.
Ascribe’s independent directors have been advised by Cenkos, and Altium has advised Scroll Bidco.
Scroll Bidco is currently ultimately owned by Stephen Critchlow, Executive Chairman of Ascribe, but will be funded by ECI and by debt provided by Yorkshire Bank (part of Clydesdale Bank).
The offer price represents premiums of: 55.6% to the Closing Price of 18p per Ascribe Share on 14 July 2008, when the approach to the Independent Directors was clarified; 22% to the average Closing Price of 22.9p per Ascribe Share in the six month period ending on 16 December 2008, the last dealing day prior to this announcement; 16.7% to the Closing Price of 24p per Ascribe Share on 18 August 2008, the last dealing day prior to the announcement that the board of Ascribe was in discussions about a possible offer; and a premium of approximately 12% to the Closing Price of 25p per Ascribe Share on 16 December 2008, the last dealing day prior to the recommended offer announcement.
Stephen Critchlow, Executive Chairman of Ascribe, commented: “Ascribe has grown rapidly on AIM. However Management believes that the next stage of Ascribe’s growth will be better facilitated as a private company with a supportive private equity backer which endorses Management’s strategy of consolidating market share across our product portfolio both via organic growth and by further acquisitions.”
David Ewing of ECI and a director of Scroll Bidco, added: ” The provision of IT services to healthcare is an exciting market segment in which Ascribe is a recognised leader in certain product areas. We believe that with our support Ascribe can continue to grow significantly through organic growth and take advantage of further acquisition opportunities.”
Source: Thomson Merger News