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Mediclinic in R8.6bn UK buy via Remgro

Cape Town – Private healthcare group Mediclinic International and investment holding company Remgro on Monday announced the acquisition of a 29.9% shareholding in UK-based Spire Healthcare Group for £431.7m (R8.33bn).
In a joint statement Mediclinic and Remgro said they have agreed the terms by which Remgro will acquire 119 923 335 Spire Healthcare shares from funds managed by Cinven, a European private equity firm, at a price of £3.60 per share for a total purchase consideration of £431.7m to secure the Spire Healthcare holding in the opportunity window available.

Mediclinic in turn will acquire the Spire Healthcare holding from Remgro for about R8.6bn, the aggregate of the purchase price and transaction and funding costs.

Spire Healthcare is one of the UK’s largest private hospital providers, led by a strong and highly experienced management team, with 39 hospitals and 13 clinics across England, Wales and Scotland. The company offers a range of integrated surgical, medical and diagnostic services.

Mediclinic CEO Danie Meintjes said the private healthcare group had identified the opportunity to acquire a meaningful holding in Spire Healthcare and could now realise it with the facilitation of Remgro.

“We are investing in a growing developed market while also diversifying into an attractive new geography with a strong currency. Both Mediclinic and Spire Healthcare will benefit from collaboration through the sharing of knowledge and experience and improving cost synergies and efficiencies.”

To raise the requisite funding Mediclinic proposes a fully underwritten, renounceable rights issue to qualifying Mediclinic shareholders of 111 111 111 shares at R90/share for an aggregate amount of R10bn.

The balance of about R1.4bn will be retained by Mediclinic for transaction costs and to support future growth opportunities.

The acquisition of the Spire Healthcare holding from Remgro is subject to the successful completion of the rights issue.

Remgro currently holds 41.3% of Mediclinic and has committed to follow all their rights and agreed to underwrite the balance of the proposed Mediclinic rights issue.

CEO Jannie Durand said Remgro “is delighted” to support Mediclinic in acquiring this holding in Spire Healthcare.

“By joining forces we were able to act swiftly in the interests of both Remgro and Mediclinic shareholders,” said Durand.

Mediclinic and Remgro have confirmed that they have no current intention of making an offer for the whole of Spire Healthcare.

SA food chains take on London with aplomb

Cape Town – South Africa’s influence on London’s restaurant scene is growing to new heights, according to a report by CNN.

London is a cosmopolitan kaleidoscope, with a restaurant scene to match, according to CNN Marketplace Africa. “Its high streets play like a round-the-world pit stop of cuisines, and increasing woven among them are African restaurants,” CNN said in a statement.

Association for African Owned Enterprises chairperson Washington Kapapiro believes in the prospect of successful African food brands in the UK: “For me what’s most exciting is the… growth of what we call African food. People are starting to identify with that brand.”

With that brand comes opportunity for chains on the continent to expand overseas, and London is seen as the golden ticket.

“All brands across the world are testing their models in London,” said Spur  UK director David Maich. “If it works here it will work anywhere.”

One South African food chain leading the charge in the UK is Nando’s. Created in South Africa in 1987, Nando’s came to the UK in 1992. 23 years later, the restaurant that successfully blends Portuguese and South African roots with affordable family fare has almost 400 branches on UK high streets.

“It’s a tremendous success because they have been flexible, adapting concept; not a copy and paste rigid brand standard they adopted,” Maich told CNN.

Maich is among those hoping to follow in Nando’s footsteps and become another successful South African chain planting its flag on UK soil, with Spur. “We’re now positioning ourselves for the UK market, which is more vibrant, more cutting edge, punchy – and this cries out to the customers and to me this is the way to go.”

South African ex-pats in the UK are welcoming these food chains to London. “They’re great – very loyal supporters – and great ambassadors – but we have to think broadly; we have to think of the UK customer profile and that’s who we’re targeting across the board,” explained Maich.

Another South African company vying for a position in the UK market is The Meat Co, a restaurant whose specialty is the traditional South African dish, basted beef.

Like Spur, The Meat Co has adapted their South African roots to suit the UK market. Johnny Tomazos, CEO of Food Fund International (the company which owns Spur) told Marketplace Africa: “Here at The Meat Co, the African link is perhaps more subtle. This is not about tribal art on the walls, or ornate and more traditional décor…the Africa they wish to take global – is modern Africa – and the hallmark of the dining experience – their beef!”

The growing success of African restaurants in the UK is no surprise to Kapapiro. He attributes a uniquely African can-do spirit to the success of South African restaurant chains in the UK: “Let’s solve the problem – let’s not stick to our rules… I think that culture is the foundation for a lot of growth we’ve seen in the African business sector.”