TowerBrook Capital Seeks To Buy Southern Cross Health Care

(Reuters) – Private-equity firm Towerbrook Capital said on Friday it had made an indicative offer to buy care-homes operator Southern Cross Health Care Group (SCHE.L), sending shares in the British company up as much as 64 percent. Towerbrook said in a statement on Friday it was considering whether to make an offer for the company.


Southern Cross, which has been hit hard by cuts to public spending, said it was working with advisers on its future strategy.


“Accordingly, the Board of Southern Cross has informed Towerbrook that it does not wish to enter into discussions at this time,” it said in a statement.


Southern Cross has been affected by cash-strapped local authorities reducing admissions to care homes, leading it to issue a profit warning, its second of the year, on Aug 9. [ID:nLDE67808W]


It shares, which have fallen 86 percent since the start of the year, were up 53 percent at 28 pence at 1310 GMT, valuing the company at about 53 million pounds.


Towerbrook, which is based in London and New York, declined to comment further.


Towerbrook specialises in buying and turning around underperforming companies in North America and Europe. Its portfolio includes French carparts maker Autodistribution Group and women’s footwear maker Jimmy Choo.


(Reporting by Paul Sandle and Simon Meads; Editing by Will Waterman)