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Crescent Capital Partners' Stake In Abano Rises

Crescent Capital Partners' Stake In Abano Rises To Just Under 20%

Auckland, NZ (January 11, 2008): Crescent Capital Partners (Crescent) today announced that it has acquired an additional 8.7 percent of the shares in Abano Healthcare Group Limited (Abano) from some of Abano's largest investors, taking the total number of Abano shares in which Crescent has a relevant interest to 19.9 percent.

Crescent is currently limited under the Takeovers Code in buying shares outside of its takeover offer to a 19.9% cap. The shares have been purchased at an average of $5.15 per share, which is below the current offer price of $5.20 available to all Abano shareholders through Crescent's full cash takeover offer, which is currently open for acceptance.

Four of the largest investors in the company after RotoruaTrust, which was the largest institutional financial investor and has already sold all its shares to Crescent, have sold either all of their shares or substantial parts of their shareholdings to Crescent.

The institutional investors that have today sold their shares to Crescent include Brook Asset Management and BT Funds Management, which sold their total holdings, and Salvus Asset Management and ACC, which sold a substantial portion of their holdings. Some larger retail investors also sold their shares to Crescent today.

"We see this as a very strong message being sent from some of the company's largest shareholders to the Abano Board," said Michael Alscher, Executive Director of Crescent Capital Partners.

"We believe these institutional shareholders have recognised that our takeover offer price of $5.20 fully values the company. The fact that these significant, informed and financially astute investors were prepared to sell their shares to us below our offer price demonstrates just how compelling our takeover offer is.

"It is also noteworthy that these investors sold their shares to us after the release of Abano's Target Company Statement and the release of the revised Independent Adviser's report at the price of $5.15, the same price at which we acquired shares from RotoruaTrust immediately before we launched our takeover offer.

"Our offer is a full valued offer for shareholders. We encourage shareholders to accept our takeover offer.

"The alternative for shareholders will be that they will have to rely on Abano achieving its uncertain projections over the next 5&½ years. Clearly this is a risk that many of Abano's largest and most informed investors are not prepared to take. It is also confirmation that we are far from the only ones within the market to doubt the confidence expressed by the Abano Board in their projections," said Mr Alscher.

The $5.20 offer for Abano shares is in the top third of the valuation range ($4.21 to $5.68) assessed by KordaMentha using the EBITDA multiples of comparable companies and comparable transactions and is within the overall valuation range of between $5.15 to $5.90 set out in the KordaMentha Independent Adviser's report. The top end of this range was based on the Abano Board's 5&½ year projections for the company.

Crescent will shortly be releasing a comprehensive response to the Target Company Statement issued by the Abano Board which will further highlight some of the shortcomings Crescent perceives in the Target Company Statement and the unusual position that the Abano Board has adopted.

Crescent Capital Partners is an Australian based private equity fund which owns and operates one of Australasia's leading medical device distributors and healthcare service providers, Lifehealthcare.


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