Goldsborough to raise pounds 29m: Share sale will fund nursing home purchases

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THE PRICE of shares in the placing and offer for sale by Goldsborough Healthcare has been set at 170p, valuing the nursing homes, acute hospitals and home- care services group at pounds 74.5m.

Some 36.6 million shares, worth pounds 62.3m and equal to nearly 84 per cent of the enlarged capital, are being sold.

Goldsborough will net pounds 29m from the issue, of which 65 per cent is being placed with institutions.

Kunick, the leisure company that sold a 50 per cent stake in Goldsborough to NatWest Ventures in 1992, is selling all its 12.6 million shares. NatWest is cutting its holding from 10.1 to 4.3 million.

Graham Smith, chief executive of Goldsborough, said there was plenty of scope for making acquisitions, especially nursing homes - its main business.

'The fragmented nature of our business provides opportunities to grow,' he said. Homes will be bought singly or in groups to add to the 26 it already owns.

Buying groups would increase the company's regional presence. Goldsborough has homes with a total of 1,238 beds in Yorkshire, the North-east and Greater London.

'This has been a growth market for a number of years. Existing groups of homes have become too big to be sold through trade sales, and too small to be floated,' Mr Smith added.

The homes business made operating profits of pounds 4.8m in the year to 3 October, more than three-quarters of the pounds 6.2m group total. The acute hospitals and home-care services divisions made pounds 700,000 each.

In home care, Mr Smith said the company would benefit from the Community Care Act, designed to develop an independent sector alongside public services.

Annual expenditure in the UK on home care is estimated at more than pounds 400m, 80 times the amount turned over by Goldsborough in this sector.

The company hopes to pay a 2.2p final dividend for the year, and would have paid a 1.1p interim had it been listed for the full period.

Applications for the offer, which is being handled by SG Warburg, close next Thursday and dealings begin on 4 March.

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