Digital health group bought in £135m deal

Redditch-based Optima Health has been acquired by Marlowe in a £135m deal.

The acquisition of Optima, a provider of technology-enabled occupational health services, is set to drive Marlowe’s strategy in becoming a leader in the occupational health sector and grow its risk-managed and regulatory compliant software and services.

The company estimates the acquisition will grow its adjusted earnings per share by more than 10% and expects synergies of at least £2m, both in the first 12 months post-completion through Optima’s existing occupational health business.

A proposed placing has been announced to raise the gross proceeds of around £130m through shares of 50p each to new and existing investors. The net proceeds will be used to fund the consideration to strengthen the group’s financial position and with an intended refinancing expected to conclude in early 2022, it aims to create a capacity for further growth.

In the £135m deal, £6m of which is proposed to be re-invested into a future group occupational health business incentive scheme.

Optima serves private and public sector customers throughout the UK and generates revenue of £68m and adjusted EBITDA of £11m. Following the acquisition, it will increase Marlowe’s run rate revenues and adjusted EBITDA to c.£400m and c.£71m respectively.

Alex Dacre, Chief Executive of Marlowe plc, said: “The acquisition of Optima significantly strengthens our Governance, Risk and Compliance division and builds further confidence in the delivery of our FY 2024 strategy, which is materially ahead of schedule.

“The combination of Optima with our existing GRC businesses is highly complementary and will enable us to offer customers a broader range of services whilst delivering synergies.”

The purchase also moves Marlowe’s objective in achieving £100 million of run-rate adjusted EBITDA materially ahead of the original end of its FY2024 target.

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