Mediclinic accepts £3.7 billion offer from billionaire Rupert

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Mediclinic International has agreed to the latest in a series of offers from a consortium led by billionaire Johann Rupert, with the South African hospital operator valued at 3.7 billion pounds ($4.5 billion).

Rupert’s investment group Remgro, already the largest shareholder in Mediclinic, is working with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA to pay 504 pence per share for the shares it does not already own, according to a statement on Thursday. That was the fourth approach, including a 463 pence bid that was rejected in June.

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Mediclinic shares gained 3.4% to 501 pence as of 1:41 PM in London, after 56% this year amid the takeover battle. The company has healthcare facilities in Switzerland and the UAE, as well as in South Africa, where it has a dual listing.

The deal has yet to be approved by shareholders representing 75% of the votes cast at a general meeting, and “minority pressure for better terms is a real possibility,” analysts at financial group Cowen said in a note.

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The proposed valuation is lower than Mediclinic’s 2017 bid to buy out Spire Healthcare Group Plc, a UK private hospital operator that partially owns it, which was ultimately turned down, they said.

shake up portfolio

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

The Stellenbosch-based company has shaken 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 producer of wine and spirits, to Heineken NV.

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

The deal represents another expansion for MSC, which has taken shape after freight boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic. The container group also bought Bollore SA’s African transportation and logistics operations for $6.3 billion.


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