Birmingham healthcare company Claimar has put itself up for sale amid disappointment that its share price does not “fairly reflect its strong market position”, chairman John Crabtree said yesterday.
The Edgbaston company, which provides home care and nursing for the elderly and disabled, said in April that it had started a strategic review of its prospects.
Presenting Claimar’s interim results yesterday, Mr Crabtree said: “Since then, the group has taken soundings from a number of trade parties and potential private equity buyers, which indicated that there is an appetite to purchase the whole group.
“The review process has continued and the board has to date received a number of indicative conditional proposals to make an offer for the entire issued share capital of the company.
“This may or may not lead to such an offer being made.”
Yesterday’s closing price of 14.25p valued Claimar at £7.12 million compared with between £15 million-£20 million when it floated on the Alternative Investment Market in 2005.
Talks with RBS about refinancing Claimar which began in January are in abeyance while the future of the company is being decided, although the bank “remains very supportive of the group and its prospects”, Mr Crabtree said.
Claimar yesterday reported a headline profit of £9.26 million for the six months to March 31, an increase of 29.1 per cent over the same period last year, while revenue rose by 18.4 per cent to £28.49 million. Acquisition costs and other one-off charges resulted in a 19.5 per cent drop in profit before tax to £790,000.
Net cash flows from operating activities rose strongly, from £220,000 last time to £3.92 million at the halfway stage this year, while underlying net debt fell by 3.7 per cent to £19.33 million.
Mr Crabtree yesterday put Claimar’s shareholders on notice that, despite an improvement of about 11 per cent in May, slower-than-forecast growth in the first six months may lead to results for the full year, before exceptional items, falling below market expectations. “Although this is disappointing the board believes that the structural and operational improvements which have been made to the group have positioned it well for future growth.”