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Court approves retail giant’s $180m takeover of SILK Laser Clinics


Australian Pharmaceutical Industries’ $180 million takeover of South Australian business SILK Laser Clinics has today been approved by the Federal Court.

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The approval means the deal will become legally effective tomorrow after shareholders voted in favour of the $3.35 cash per share offer earlier this month.

API is a subsidiary of retail giant Wesfarmers and one of Australia’s largest pharmaceutical distributors. It owns brands including Priceline, Soul Pattinson Chemist, Clear Skincare, Pharmacist Advice and more.

The new owner intends to continue growing SILK’s national footprint once it takes total control of the South Australian company founded in 2009 by managing director and CEO Martin Perelman.

SILK’s first clinic was in Hyde Park, and the company has since expanded nationally via acquisitions and organic growth. It listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2020 and was recently ranked number 47 in InDaily’s 2023 South Australian Business Index.

“SILK intends to lodge an office copy of the court’s orders with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission tomorrow, at which time the Scheme will become legally effective,” SILK said today.

“SILK expects that the ASX will suspend SILK shares from trading on ASX with effect from the close of trading tomorrow.”

The successful $3.35 per share deal follows a $169 million ($2.42 per share) offer in April from API, and matches a takeover proposal from EC Healthcare in May.

Though EC’s bid was also $3.35 cash per share for the entirety of SILK, the target still determined API’s latest tilt to be “superior” considering certainty provided by the suitor and the ability to execute the deal “on terms acceptable to the SILK Board” which unanimously recommended the deal to shareholders.

“Wesfarmers Health represents a logical, long-term owner for the SILK business, with the expertise and capacity to support continued growth for SILK and its franchise partners,” SILK chairman Boris Bosnich said in June.

“The API offer provides certainty for shareholders, and we have been pleased with the alignment between the businesses seen through due diligence.”

The Court’s approval follows the release of SILK’s FY23 results which detailed a 20 per cent increase in revenue to $97.6 million over the 12 months and net profit after tax of $7 million.

When announcing the financial figures in August, Perelman said SILK “delivered solid results despite inflationary pressures increasing the cost of doing business”.

“Through organic growth and strategic acquisitions, we have significantly strengthened our position in the non-surgical aesthetics market,” Perelman said.

“The growth of our network has enabled our franchise partners to leverage the significant buying power achieved through scale while also benefitting from the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of centralised support functions.”

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