Is Estia for sale?

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With the Estia share price at just over 50% of what it was floated for in December 2014 despite a number of acquisitions, the discussion around town is will somebody make a move to buy it cheap.

Regis and Japara have both said they aren’t interested. Bupa has the financial strength but has not been heard of – and departing Estia CEO Paul Gregersen was MD of Bupa Care from 2008 to 2013 plus MD of Bupa China.

That leaves private equity groups as the obvious bottom feeders. The interesting thing is the private equity firm with the most hands-on aged care experience is Quadrant who created Estia and sold out in May at $5.56 – the price today is $3.23. It was also Quadrant that bought Summerset in NZ with Norah Barlow as CEO and spent four years in partnership building it up for a successful listing and sell out by Quadrant. She has just taken over as Acting CEO of Estia.

It is understood Estia has appointed the merchant bank Credit Suisse to advise them.