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Healthcare firm cancels shares issue

Craneware withdraws £83m placing for acquisition

Keith Neilson

Keith Neilson: withdrawn (pic: Terry Murden)

Healthcare software developer Craneware has reversed its plan announced last night to raise capital for a planned acquistion.

The Edinburgh-based company said in a statement this morning that its target had agreed terms with a third party and the proposed placing had been terminated.

“Despite the successful launch of the accelerated bookbuild and a strong oversubscription for approximately £83m from new and existing investors at a price per share of 1550p, the board has decided that it would be in the best interests of the company and its shareholders not to proceed with the placing, and the placing agreement has been terminated,” ir said.

“This decision has been taken following news in the US overnight that the company’s proposed primary acquisition target has agreed acquisition terms with a third party, meaning certain conditions set out in the placing agreement would not have been able to be satisfied.”

The firm, whose business is entirely in North America, said last night in a statement after the market closed that it had identified a “small number” of takeover targets which it said would expand the firm’s US customer base.

It would also add new proprietary technologies and scale up the business.

One of the potential acquisitions was currently up for sale and it hoped an accelerated bookbuild would help it jump the queue of would-be buyers.

“Whilst growth of the company since IPO has been primarily organic, the directors of the company believe there are specific potential acquisitions that offer the opportunity to accelerate the progress of the company,” it said.

The stock closed 1.2% lower at 1705p, giving it a market capitalisation of £457.4 million.

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The share offer, through a placing to institutional investors, would have represented 20% of Craneware’s share capital. CEO Keith Neilson, CFO Craig Preston and chairman Will Whitehorn pledged to invest a total of $315,000 in placing.

Craneware’s software aims to help hospitals and other healthcare providers keep costs down by managing resources efficiently. It is targeted primarily at the ‘value-based healthcare’ US market. The firm reported a $71.4 million turnover for the last financial year.

Peel Hunt, Investec Bank and Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG acted as joint global co-ordinators and joint bookrunners in connection with the placing.

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