Orion Healthcare to go private

Troubled Auckland-based e-health software company Orion Healthcare is likely to go private after a consortium led by founder Ian McCrae launched a takeover last week.

Called Grafton Health, the consortium is led by MacCrae, who holds 86% of shares in the group, as well as Compac founder Hamish Kennedy who hold 5.3%. That takes it over the 90% threshold needed to make takeover bid. The consortium says that it holds 93.46% of shares.

The consortium has offered NZ$1.224 (US$1.70) per share, or NZ$5.9 million, to buy remaining shares that they do not own. This is the same price as the offer price under Orion’s voluntary share buyback offer in December. It is also a 6.4% premium to the share price before the bid was launched.

If successful, Orion will be delisted, but there are no significant plans to change the company direction.

Once an NZX darling, the group’s shares used to trade as high as NZ$6.00 in December 2014, but it has struggled with profitability in recent years. Last summer it sold off two significant parts of its business to private equity technology investor Hg for NZ$225 million. The complex deal saw Hg acquire three-quarters of Orion’s Rhapsody software arm and 25% of its Population Health business.