Nestor blow to Acromas home help chain plans
Acromas - formed through the 2007 merger of Saga and the AA - has bought two other firms providing healthcare services at home and is in talks over several more deals.
The company said buying Nestor will speed up its strategy to build a national branded business in a growing but fragmented market, as people live longer but want to stay at home. Firms currently provide about three million hours of social care a week at home.
Nestor said the approach "materially undervalued" the business, which also runs a range of health services including NHS walk-in health centres, dentists, and criminal vetting services for would-be care workers.
Shares in Nestor rose 10.6 per cent yesterday on confirmation of the bid approach although Acromas signalled it may not be deterred in its pursuit, saying it had a "high regard for the business and management".
Recent results from Nestor showed pre-tax profits for the six months to 30 June almost doubling to 5.5m on revenues 4 per cent ahead at 77.9m.
The group's social care arm - which accounts for some three-quarters of revenues and has 90 branches in the UK - was the best performer as higher workloads and the ditching of unprofitable contracts offset pressure on local authority budgets.