Soul Patts withdraws $555M bid for Regis takeover

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The play by Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Regis co-founder Bryan Dorman for the listed provider appears to be at an end.

As we reported here in November, Soul Patts and Mr Dorman’s company Ashburn – which owns 27.2% of Regis – made two bids for the company, the first offering $1.65 and the second $1.85 a share, but Regis’ board rejected both proposals, saying they had materially undervalued the company given its medium- and long-term prospects.

There was speculation that the partnership would renew its offer for Regis, but Soul Patts told the market otherwise yesterday morning.

“WHSP believes that the two proposals provided Regis shareholders with a highly attractive opportunity to realise value for their shares in light of the significant uncertainty and funding challenges currently facing the aged care industry,” it said in a statement.

“Both proposals have been rejected by the Board of Regis. As a result, WHSP has withdrawn its non-binding indicative proposal as outlined in its announcement dated 19 November 2020 and ceased its association with Ashburn and Mr Dorman.”

The news prompted a sell-off among shareholders with Regis’ share price dropping from $1.88 on Tuesday afternoon to $1.70 by Wednesday afternoon.

Japara’s share price also fell, while Estia’s climbed slightly higher.

The listed aged care providers have all seen their share prices fall over the past 12 months thanks to COVID and the Royal Commission, but interest from investors has grown as the deadline for the Final Report approaches with its promise of more funding for the sector.

Will we see this interest revived-post Report and May Budget?