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Huntsworth FY19 Pretax Profit Rises; To Be Acquired By CD&R Artemis UK Bidco

Huntsworth plc (HNT.L), a healthcare and communications group, reported Tuesday that its profit before tax for the year ended 31 December 2019 increased to 29.8 million pounds from 28.6 million pounds last year. However, earnings per share declined to 5.4 pence from 6.1 pence in the prior year.

Headline profit before tax increased 27 percent to 39.1 million pounds from 30.9 million pounds in the prior year. Headline earnings per share rose 14 percent to 8.1 pence from 7.1 pence last year.

Revenue for the year rose 18 percent to 264.9 million pounds from 225.0 million pounds a year ago. Like-for-like revenue growth was 4 percent, while like-for-like operating profit growth was also 4 percent.

The company proposed a 16 percent increase in the final dividend to 1.85 pence per share, giving a total dividend for the year of 2.6 pence per share, compared to 2.3 pence per share in 2018.

Separately, the boards of CD&R Artemis UK Bidco Limited and Huntsworth said they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer by Bidco for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Huntsworth.

CD&R Artemis UK Bidco is a new entity formed by U.S.-based private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLP, in its capacity as adviser to Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC as manager of CD&R Fund X.

The acquisition is intended to be implemented by way of a court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement. Under the terms of the acquisition, each Huntsworth shareholder will be entitled to receive 108 pence in cash for each Huntsworth share.

The cash consideration under the terms of the acquisition values the current issued share capital of Huntsworth at about 400 million pounds, and implies an enterprise value of 524 million pounds. The cash consideration represents a nearly 50 percent premium to the closing price of 72.0 pence per Huntsworth Share on 2 March 2020.

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