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NZX poised to lose another tech stock as Orion receives offer

Company associated with founder Ian McCrae makes full takeover offer
Ian McCrae (Orion Health)

Ian McCrae (Orion Health)

Orion Health is subject to a takeover, from its own founders, that would see the troubled tech stock depart from the NZX.

Orion told the market this morning it had received notice from Grafton Health Holdings of its intention to make a full offer under the Takeovers Code to acquire all of Orion shares at a cash price of $1.224 a share.

The company's shares last traded at $1.15, but were trading over $6 shortly after it listed at $5.70 in November 2014.

Grafton Health Holdings, which already holds 93 per cent of Orion's shares after a reorganisation last year, is associated with, among others, Orion director and CEO Ian McCrae.

The NZX lost Xero's listing early last year and Trade Me is also now subject to a takeover offer, while search technology developer SLI Systems also departed after a takeover late last year.

Independent directors Andrew Ferrier and Paul Shearer are forming a new committee to oversee Orion's response to the offer.

"The board committee will appoint an independent adviser to report on the merits of the offer and recommends that Orion shareholders take no action in relation to the proposed offer until shareholders receive further guidance, including the independent adviser's report," the company told shareholders today.

If an offer is made, Orion will prepare a target company statement which will be released to the NZX, ASX and shareholders, together with the independent adviser’s report, as soon as assessment of the offer has been completed.

Shareholders are recommended to seek their own professional advice.