Spire, Abzena And ClearStar Are Latest Healthcare, Tech Firms To IPO

LONDON (Alliance News) - Private hospitals group Spire Healthcare Group PLC announced the ...

Alliance News 7 July, 2014 | 10:11AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - Private hospitals group Spire Healthcare Group PLC announced the expected price range for its initial public offering Monday, whilst fellow healthcare company Abzena PLC priced its IPO and technology company ClearStar Inc announced plans to float on AIM.

Spire Healthcare announced the expected price range of its planned initial public offering will be between 210 pence and 300 pence per share.

Taking the mid-point of the price range, the company's market capitalisation will be around GBP955 million, which would make it eligible for inclusion in the FTSE 250 index.

Spire expects to raise GBP315 million through the issue of new shares, which it will use to reduce its debt and cover IPO costs. It will announce final pricing of its offer on or around July 18, and expects to begin trading around July 23.

Spire is the second-largest operator in the UK independent acute healthcare sector by revenue, with 39 private hospitals and 13 clinics across England, Wales and Scotland. The group was founded with the acquisition and re-branding of 25 Bupa hospitals in 2007 and has expanded since then.

In 2013, Spire made revenue of GBP764.5 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rent cost of GBP209.0 million, representing a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% and 7.8%, respectively. Revenues in the first quarter of 2014 were up on the year, and EBITDA excluding rent rose 7.5% to GBP56.0 million.

"We are pleased with the level of investor interest we're seeing at this stage of the IPO process," said Chief Executive Rob Roger in a statement. "Spire represents an opportunity to invest in a business with a strong track record and would be the first UK-based private hospital group to list on the London Stock Exchange."

On the smaller AIM market, life sciences company Abzena priced its initial public offering at 80 pence, giving it a market capitalisation of GBP77.9 million. The company said it has provisionally raised GBP20 million through the offering of 25 million new shares at 80 pence at this price.

It expects to begin trading on AIM Thursday.

Abzena said it will use the proceeds to increase its service capacity to meeting growing demand, develop its existing technologies, develop complementary new services and technologies in house, and acquire complementary services technologies.

Imperial Innovations Group, which will have a GBP23.6% interest in the company's enlarged share capital, said its holding will be valued at GBP18.0 million.

"Abzena is the fourth of our portfolio companies to join the public markets in recent months, which is a clear demonstration of the strength in depth of our maturing portfolio," said Chief Executive of Imperial Innovations Russ Cummings in a statement.

Finally ClearStar, which provides background checking technology and services, announced plans to float on AIM.

The company posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of USD1.0 million for 2013, on revenue of USD8.0 million.

It said that it believes an AIM listing will enhance its credibility and profile within its market place and help grow its business. It will use the funds raised as working capital and marketing spend, funding research and development investment, and building out its international network.

"With an increasingly global and migrant workforce and heightened focus on 'knowing your hire', the demand for background check services has never been greater," said Chief Executive Robert Vale in a statement.

By Hana Stewart-Smith; hanassmith@alliancenews.com; @HanaSSAllNews

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