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PARIS (Reuters) – Shares in scandal-hit French care homes group Orpea surged on Monday after the company posted a nearly 8% rise in fourth-quarter revenue and spelled out the details of a planned capital increase.

Orpea said revenue growth remained solid with an increase of 7.7% of which 5.7% was organic, adding that its cash position at the end of last year was estimated at 856 million euros ($914 million), above the 350 million euro forecast the company had made in November.

It said the improved cash position was mainly due to extended credit lines and a suspension of loan repayments granted by creditors last year.

Its shares jumped 16% higher on the Paris stock market on Monday morning, to trade at 4.23 euros each.

Full-year revenue in 2022 rose 8.9% to 4.681 billion euros ($5.00 billion), in line with financial data presented in November, the company added.

The company also said the risk of a liquidity shortfall was now postponed until the end of the second quarter.

Earlier this month, Orpea announced it would cut its debt by around 3.8 billion euros and receive a cash equity injection of 1.55 billion euros under a deal reached with state financial institution Caisse des Depots & Consignations (CDC) and other investors

The company on Monday said that a planned capital increase amid a wider restructuring process would reflect a theoretical share price value of less than 0.20 euros, significantly lower than its current valuation.

A first capital increase would reflect a theoretical issue price at approximately 0.59 euros per share, followed by two additional tranches which would translate into individual share values of 0.18 euros and 0.13 euros respectively, Orpea said.

Orpea’s shares slumped by 93% in 2022 after a book highlighted potential malpractice at its care homes.

French police carried out raids on Orpea care homes last November, while an independent audit found evidence of financial wrongdoing. Orpea has said it has taken steps to improve its business practices.

($1 = 0.9369 euros)


(Reporting by Olivier Sorgho and Tassilo Hummel, editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)


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