- Hospital owner Spire Healthcare said shareholders have voted against a cash offer from rival private hospital group Ramsay Health Care, terminating the bid in the process.

Earlier today (19 July) Spire Healthcare convened a general meeting and court meeting in relation to the recommended cash acquisition by Ramsay Health Care.

The total votes in favour of the resolutions were 69.88% at the general meeting, and 72.07% at the court meeting, which were below the minimum threshold of 75% of shares voted needed to approve the resolutions to effect the acquisition by Ramsay.

Accordingly, the acquisition of Spire by Ramsay has been terminated and the scheme has lapsed.

The court hearing to sanction the scheme, scheduled for 22 July 2021, will not take place.

Spire chairman Ian Cheshire said: 'We respect the decision of our shareholders and will now continue to execute our strategy to deliver growth and create greater value through supporting private patients and the NHS.

'Throughout our ongoing engagement with shareholders, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive towards the long-term strategy and our strong management team. We remain confident in the company's long-term fundamentals and are well positioned for success as a standalone business.

'Whilst the majority of shareholders voted in favour of the scheme, the result is clear. As a board, we are committed to representing the interests of our shareholders and have fulfilled our duty to present the proposed Transaction for their consideration, given its value and structure.'

Spire CEO Justin Ash added: 'Spire had strong prospects as a standalone business before the offer from Ramsay and that remains the case today. Our strategy has, and will continue to, prioritise investment in patient safety and quality of care in order to deliver sustainable long-term growth; this strategy has enjoyed strong shareholder support and we have remained focused on its execution throughout the offer period.'

Ash said: 'Led by our purpose, to make a positive difference to patients' lives through outstanding personalised care, our colleagues have demonstrated outstanding commitment to patients, building admissions and addressing the treatment backlog throughout the pandemic and the transaction. The board and management team are deeply grateful to all of them for their continued dedication.'

At 1:43pm: [LON:SPI] Spire Healthcare Group PLC share price was 0p at 134p

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