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Abano and Sonic Healthcare progress with merger

Company Announcement
31 January 2006


Abano and Sonic Healthcare progress with merger of diagnostic businesses

Abano Healthcare Group Limited has today advised that, following a successful outcome to its application to the Commerce Commission, Wellington Pathology and the Sonic Healthcare-owned Valley Diagnostic intend to merge their community diagnostic laboratory services businesses in both the Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast District Health Board (DHB) districts.

The Commerce Commission application was lodged on 7 December 2005 following indications from the Capital and Coast and Hutt Valley District Health Boards that they would like to see a rationalisation of laboratory services in the region.

Managing director of Abano, Mr Alan Clarke, said: “We are very pleased with the Commerce Commission’s decision, as we believe the merger will bring significant advantages to the DHBs and to the two practices and allow them to provide efficiencies that could not be achieved separately.

“We will now be proceeding with a joint response to the Request For Proposal (RFP) for the community pathology work for the Wellington and Hutt Valley regions, jointly issued by the Capital Coast DHB and the Hutt Valley DHB. This will be submitted by 17 February 2006, with a decision expected shortly after.”

Separately, Abano’s Nelson Diagnostic business will be submitting a response to the RFP from the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board for the community and public laboratory services in that region, by 24 February 2006.

ENDS

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