Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Ascendis Health, in the wake of its share price falling almost 39% since last year’s high of R28.90, plans to tap the market for R750m in fresh capital.

But unlike most rights offers, the pharmaceuticals and health products group is planning to price new shares at a premium — because it believes its current share price is "not reflective of the company’s intrinsic value".

Ascendis shares seesawed to finally close 2.3% higher on Wednesday at R17.90.

The offer is being fully underwritten by private equity firm Coast2Coast, which formed and listed Ascendis in 2013 and still owns 3.9% of the stock.

Ascendis, which has embarked on a break-neck acquisition spree, plans to use cash to settle a portion of its outstanding deferred vendor payments, at a discount. These liabilities had risen almost threefold by its June year-end to R645.4m.

In its last financial year, Ascendis had snapped up Cyprus-based pharmaceuticals business Remdica, Romanian outfit Sun Wave Pharma, sports nutrition company Scitec, as well as locally focused Cipla Agrimed and CiplaVet.

giulietta@bdtv.co.za

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