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Abano Healthcare Confirms Funding For Growth

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 29 NZPA - Abano Healthcare Group says it has confirmed funding arrangements with its banks, allowing it to continue expanding its dental and audiology operations.

The company has announced new purchases and site openings in Australia and New Zealand, which are expected to add more than $9 million to the group's revenue.

In Australia, Abano's dental business, Dental Partners, recently acquired two leading practices, increasing its network from nine to 11.

The two acquisitions, announced today, include Modern Dentistry in Canberra, a seven chair group practice with five full time dentists and two hygienists.

The second sees Dental Partners extending its network of practices in Sydney to include Greenwood Dental, an eight chair practice.

Abano is on track to meet its target of up to 19 practices in the Australian dental market by the end of the 2009 financial year.

The revenue of the 11 Dental Partners practices is now in excess of A$20 ($NZ22.57) million per annum.

In New Zealand, Abano's Lumino The Dentists has bought Auckland based specialist paediatric dental practice, Kidz-Teeth. Lumino now has 130 clinicians practising in 39 clinics in 14 centres around New Zealand. In New Zealand, the Abano Group has committed debt funding lines of $80 million, with an additional uncommitted facility of $20 million, through an established cashflow banking agreement with the ASB Bank. This expires in 2010 with agreed rollover provisions.

There is also a separate five year, A$25 ($NZ28.2) million cashflow lending facility with Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which is ring fenced as a dedicated facility to fund the acquisition growth of Dental Partners, in addition to the original capital injection of A$12 ($NZ13.54) million.

Both committed banking facilities are based on margins and terms agreed before the current credit crisis.

Abano Dental managing director Andy Tapper the company was delighted with progress.

"Abano's trans-Tasman Dental group now has annualised revenues of over $60 million with 50 practices and more than 170 clinicians making us one of Australasia's largest dental business."

Bay Audio in Australia has also continued its growth, following the recently announced acquisition of King Hearing from the Siemens Hearing Instruments Group in July.

Two new Queensland clinics have been opened in Noosa and Runaway Bay, expanding the Bay Audio network to 51 fulltime and satellite clinics with more clinics planned to open in coming months.

The Bay Audiology business in New Zealand has also increased the size of its network with the opening of new full time clinics in Palmerston North and in the Pakuranga and St Lukes shopping malls in Auckland; the transition of satellite clinics to full time clinics in Richmond and Whakatane; and establishing two new satellite clinics in Taumarunui and Tawa.

Abano's trans-Tasman audiology networks now have annual revenues of over $60 million with over 110 full time and satellite clinics and 73 audiologists and clinical staff making the Bay group one of Southeast Asia's largest audiology companies.

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