Capio backs sweetened US$2.3bn offer

The board of Swedish based healthcare provider Capio has recommended a SKr17bn (US$2.3bn) buyout offer from Opica, a company jointly owned by private equity firms Apax Partners and Nordic Capital. This values Capio at SKr22.9bn (US$3.1bn).

The sweetened offer of SKr167 per share has been unanimously recommended by the Capio board, and follows an earlier failed hostile offer of SKr153 per share bid from the same team.

According to Apax Partners, shareholder representing 37% of Capio shares and votes have indicated that they will support the recommended offer, including both the second and fourth Swedish National Pension Funds (AP2 and AP4), Orkla, Robur Funds, SEB Funds and SEB Trygg Liv. As of June 30 2006, AP2 held a 6.3% stake in Capio, AP4 held 5.3% and Nordic conglomerate Orkla owned 5.1%.

The sweetened offer represents a premium of 47% to the average Capio closing share price of SKr113.35 during the 20 trading days prior to the announcement of the offer, and a premium of 36% to the closing price of SKr122.50 on August 31 2006, the last trading day prior to the announcement.

Shareholders who tendered shares during the original acceptance period will be included in the increased offer without further action.

Rothschild, ABN AMRO and PK Partners advised Apax on the offer, Deutsche Bank advised Nordic Capital and Morgan Stanley advised Capio.