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Abano shares hit 6-month high as bidders circle

By Paul McBeth

Sept. 25 (BusinessDesk) - Abano Healthcare shares rose to a six-month high after the dental clinic operator said its board is considering competing offers - one for the whole business and one for its Australian chain.

The shares were recently up 9.1 percent at $4.68, after Abano confirmed it's in exclusive talks with two parties. The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk column today reported Australian private equity firm BGH Capital is in talks to buy Abano in full, while ASX-listed 1300 Smiles is seeking to buy the Maven Dental chain in Australia.

Abano didn't name the parties, saying confidentiality agreements are in place, but did confirm that one was for all of Abano's shares and the other was for all of Maven's shares.

"The Abano board has been undertaking a thorough process in response to the expressions of interest and will not endorse a proposal unless it is satisfied that in all the circumstances it provides a compelling proposition for shareholders," it said in a statement.

The trans-Tasman dental market is going through a period of consolidation and Abano received a number of expressions of interest in July.

Abano reiterated that there's no certainty of a deal going ahead, and said investors should consider seeking financial advice if they wish to trade in the company's shares.

(BusinessDesk)

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