Ramsay Health Care board meetings come and go, KKR ploughs on

A flurry of board meetings at Ramsay Health Care looks like it has failed to materially alter the course of its mooted $30 billion takeover.

Ramsay’s board, and the board of its French subsidiary Ramsay Sante, are understood to have met last week, to consider whether it was finally time to let .

Sources say there had been no change to the status quo – KKR was still locked out of Sante following the meetings – and the two parties and their bankers were working around it.

So, given the absence of any material movement, Street Talk’s tipping Ramsay won’t feel the need to break its 3½ month silence on the deal and make any big announcements in coming days, despite speculation among investors to the contrary.

Should Ramsay keep tight-lipped, KKR and its indicative bid would be the big ticket item heading into the company’s annual results later this month, at a time the hospitals group has plenty on its plate. It made headlines last week when it failed to reach a new agreement with big health insurer Bupa, meaning Bupa customers would need to pay more out-of-pocket costs when using Ramsay’s hospitals.

Interest in Ramsay’s $88 a share indicative bid is sure to reach fever pitch in the coming fortnight, ahead of the results. The situation has attracted plenty of fast-money investors, placing bets on the M&A deal and whether KKR would be able to stand up its offer.

The mooted deal, which launched with the support of Ramsay’s biggest shareholder, has already taken a few twists and turns, including Sante’s decision to keep KKR at a distance and a material change in funding markets.

Ramsay and KKR have held talks about structuring a deal to get around Sante, as Street Talk revealed last month, including a possible deal that would help KKR acquire Ramsay’s Australian operations, while Ramsay’s Sante stake would be spun-off to eligible investors.