Capio rejects hostile bid

Swedish healthcare company Capio has turned down a 15.6 billion kronor takeover bid from French-Swedish risk capital group Opica.

The hostile bid from Opica is backed by venture capital firms Apax Partners and Nordic Capital. Many analysts believe that the deal could become a reality if Opica raises its bid.

The bid was received by Capio’s board on Monday and was rejected at a meeting on Wednesday, but despite this the bidder made the offer public on Friday.

The board considers the offer too low, given Capio’s underlying value and growth potential, according to board member Krister Hertzen.

Capio’s main business involves running publicly funded hospitals.

Capio chairman Roger Holtback was not able to take part in negotiations due to a conflict of interest – he is a long-standing advisor to Nordic Capital.

Major shareholders told news agency TT on Friday that they had not yet taken a position on the bid.

“The offer came suddenly, and we have not had time, and there is no reason for us to commit ourselves quickly,” said Thomas Halvorsen, CEO of Fjärde AP-fonden, Capio’s second largest shareholder, which has a 5.3 percent stake.

The largest owner, Andra AP-fonden, gave the same message, as did Robur and AMF Pension.

For the bid to be accepted, shareholders representing 90 percent of the capital in the company will have to agree.

The cash offer of 153 kronor per share represents a premium of 35 percent given the average market share price over the past month.

When news of the bid became public, Capio shares rose 30 percent, landing at 161 kronor at the end of Friday trading.

Opica’s owners said there were currently no plans to raise the bid, adding that they had expected the Capio board to reject the offer in order to buy more time. They added that there were no plans to break up Capio or to merge it with another healthcare company.


How Sweden plans to digitalize healthcare

The Swedish government is investing in digitalization of its 1177 Healthcare Guide with the aim of improving accessibility.

How Sweden plans to digitalize healthcare
Today it's possible to find advice about health problems and treatment on the 1177 website. Photo: Claudio Bresciani / TT

The government on Thursday announced the decision to grant 33.5 million kronor to the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) to develop the 1177 Healthcare Guide (Vårdguiden), a website where people can find out information about different healthcare issues. 

“We hope that this will benefit all patients in the country,” Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren told reporters at a press conference.

She said that Swedish healthcare needed to become more accessible and that more digital options will be introduced to the 1177 Healthcare Guide, including for example the possibility to communicate via video calls.

Another aspect of the plan is the introduction of digital booking, and the possibility for patients to keep track of their referrals online.

Healthcare in Sweden is organized at a regional level and in some areas it is already possible to carry out an online doctor's visit, either via a chat function or a video call.

But the investment would be used to “weave together different functions”, the spokesperson for SKL's healthcare department said. 

It will remain possible to contact 1177 by phone as well, something which would be particularly important for groups which are less likely to turn to digital solutions, Hallengren said.

READ ALSO: What to do if you need a sick day in Sweden


healthcare – (en) sjukvård

accessible – tillgänglig

online doctor's visit – (ett) nätläkarbesök

patient – (en) patient

doctor – (en) läkare

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