Ascendis Health, which is looking to raise funds by selling assets, is also considering another equity capital raise to help it reduce its hefty debt burden. The group, whose healthcare brands include Solal and Bettaway, said on Monday net bank debt climbed from R4.8bn to R5.3bn in the six months ended December because of the weaker rand — most of its debts are in euros — and an increase in short-term loans. The company’s shares had fallen 5.3% to R4.47 by early Monday afternoon, implying that its market capitalisation was now less than half its net bank debt figure. The market values Ascendis at R2.2bn, a 63% decline in less than six months in part because of forced share sales by the group’s main investor, Coast2Coast. Based on a key debt metric, the company is now almost in breach of its agreements with lenders, its interim results show. And it has some large payments due, including R879m worth of deferred payments for acquisitions, which are due in the three months ending Septem...

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