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Sun 15 Nov 2015 03:54 PM

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UAE firm recruits Deutsche Bank in Al Noor Hospitals takeover battle

Three bidders fight to acquire London Stock Exchange-listed healthcare provider

UAE firm recruits Deutsche Bank in Al Noor Hospitals takeover battle
(Getty Images)

UAE-based VPS Healthcare has reportedly hired Deutsche Bank to advise on its proposed takeover of Al Noor Hospitals.

It is the latest in VPS Healthcare’s determined bid to rival South African-owned Mediclinic in a purchase of the London Stock Exchange-listed Al Noor Hospitals.

Last month, Al Noor recommended to its shareholders a $2.2 billion takeover offer from Mediclinic – a deal that would see Al Noor also listed on the Johannesburg bourse.

But the appointment of Deutsche Bank by VPS Healthcare raises the stakes, The National reported on Sunday.

It said the German bank is regarded as an expert on the finances of the UAE healthcare sector, as it advised both NMC Healthcare and Al Noor on their London listings in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on its hiring by VPS Healthcare, according to the newspaper. It quoted a source as saying: “We have been asked to look at the options by VPS.

“Some people in Abu Dhabi realised they were at risk of losing a valuable local asset.”

Another UAE-based rival, NMC Healthcare, is believed to be preparing a higher bid, the newspaper said, adding complexity to the takeover battle.

It said the determining factor in any takeover is likely to be the size of the rival bidders’ respective offers.

Mathew Menezes, a healthcare analyst at Citibank in Johannesburg, was quoted as saying: “If three offers for Al Noor emerge, in addition to valuation, the weighting towards cash as opposed to equity should be increasingly important in framing Al Noor shareholders’ preference.”

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