Private equity firm Duke Street Capital has stepped up its battle for control of Oasis Healthcare by raising its offer to over £88m, topping a rival £85m bid from Associated Dental Practices (ADP).
As previously reported, Oasis, Britain’s biggest dental group, initially received a £77m bid from Duke Street in June. That offer was then trumped by ADP with its £85m takeover bid.
Oasis had publicly declared its support for that ADP offer, however Duke Street has now intensified the battle with not only making the £88.2m bid, which works out as 94p a share, but also snapping up a 27% stake in Oasis in a dawn raid that made it the company’s largest shareholder.
ADP, which owns 21.5% of Oasis, was previously the biggest single holder. Traders are expecting ADP to come back with a sweetened offer.
Duke Street said it continued to believe that Oasis was a very attractive business and ‘has accordingly decided to increase its offer’.
Peter Taylor, managing partner of the firm, said: ‘It’s a misconception that NHS dentistry is in decline. It’s a big growth area for corporate dentists like Oasis that are picking up NHS contracts as the smaller guys drop out.’