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Totally acquiring urgent care provider Vocare in 11m deal

Fri, 6th Oct 2017 10:29

(ShareCast News) - Out-of-hospital services provider Totally announced on Friday that it has conditionally agreed to acquire the entire issued and to-be-issued share capital of urgent care services provider Vocare for a consideration of up to 11m on a cash-free and debt-free basis, with a normalised level of working capital.

The AIM-traded company's board said it believed that the acquisition marked a "transformational" step for Totally in the implementation of its stated buy-and-build strategy, as it looked to become a leader of 'out-of-hospital' care in a growing UK market estimated to be worth in excess of 20bn per year.

It described Vocare as "one of the leading" providers of integrated urgent care services to the NHS throughout the UK, including GP out-of-hours services, the NHS 111 service via its call centres and urgent care centres working in conjunction with NHS accident and emergency departments.

Vocare provides healthcare services to clinical commissioning groups covering approximately 9.2 million patients nationally, Totally confirmed.

"The acquisition allows the group to obtain a foothold in the growing urgent care sector in the UK and the board believes it will provide the company with a strong and commercially attractive opportunity to grow the group and provide more comprehensive and national services in the out-of-hospital care sector," Totally's board said in its statement.

"Vocare's integrated urgent care services offer synergies with Totally's existing subsidiary businesses and complement its business model of providing preventative and responsive healthcare in 'out-of-hospital' settings to improve people's health, reduce patient NHS healthcare reliance, readmissions and emergency admissions to hospital."

Totally said it would benefit from Vocare's "innovative approach" to the delivery of integrated urgent care services in the UK, which provided the whole care pathway for urgent care which its directors said they believed is "rare" for businesses operating in the urgent care sector.

"[We] believe that there is increasing demand and significant market opportunity for urgent care services nationwide and a need to develop innovative delivery models to support the delivery of key NHS national performance targets," the board added.

"Key publications such as Sir Bruce Keogh's Urgent and Emergency Care Review, which calls for the provision of urgent care services outside of hospitals, and NHS England's Commissioning Standards for Integrated Urgent Care ... clearly demonstrate the potential market for Vocare's services."

The enlarged group would gain access to Vocare's established regional presence across the UK, opening up additional NHS partnerships and contracts and "enhancing and diversifying" its range of services to offer integrated healthcare solutions across the whole spectrum of out-of-hospital care.

"Vocare has experienced substantial revenue growth with revenue growing from approximately 32.4m in the financial year ended 31 March 2015 to approximately 76.8m in the year ended 31 March 2017 - equivalent to 137% growth over the two financial years.

"This revenue growth has been driven by Vocare securing substantial new contracts covering both NHS 111 services and urgent care," the board commented.

Totally's management said it anticipated "expediting the turnaround" in Vocare's quality of service following recent inspections and reports published by the Care Quality Commission concerning inadequacies in certain of Vocare services.

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