Mediclinic accepts £3.7 billion bid from billionaire Rupert

 ·4 Aug 2022

Mediclinic International 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 ($4.5 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 amount 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, 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.

Read: Billionaire Johann Rupert scores R54 million payday

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