Ascendis Health: On a Path to Private Ownership

Ascendis Health LTD has charted an eventful journey through the financial landscape, pivoting amidst challenges and seizing opportunities. The company’s year-long trajectory showcases a resilient performance, with its share price climbing a commendable 21.88% year-to-date, rebounding from an earlier dip. 

What catapulted Ascendis into the spotlight was its recent announcement of a potential game-changing move—a proposed delisting and transition into private ownership. This proposal, orchestrated by a consortium spearheaded by ACN Capital IHC (Pty) Limited, unveiled a firm intention to acquire all ordinary shares, sparking a staggering 23.88% surge in the share price post-announcement. 

However, the company’s navigation through the fiscal terrain hasn’t been devoid of challenges. With economic headwinds like constrained consumer spending, heightened inflation, and currency fluctuations, particularly the devaluation of the South African Rand against the robust Greenback, Ascendis faced formidable hurdles. These factors bore down on its 2023 revenue, witnessing a 2% decline to R1.54 billion, primarily affecting the consumer health segment, which experienced a notable 16% revenue downturn to R469 million. In contrast, the Medical Devices segment emerged as the stalwart, buoying the company’s revenue with a commendable 12% rise to R1.1 billion. 

Despite showcasing strengths in revenue generation, Ascendis still grapples with operational losses, chiefly attributed to its sizable cost structure. However, a significant turning point arrived in February 2023 when the company successfully shed its historical debt baggage, becoming debt-free after clearing R515 million in senior debt. This pivotal move positioned Ascendis Health in a potentially improved financial stance, signalling a proactive approach towards mitigating liquidity risks and possibly igniting investor interest in this healthcare entity. 


Ascendis Health LTD has seen a flurry of activity in its stock price, tracing a dynamic trajectory that’s caught the eye of keen market observers. Initially, the announcement of a firm intention offer triggered a surge in buying interest, propelling the share price to soaring heights on the back of 14.2 million shares traded in a single day—a clear sign of heightened investor attention. This market activity left behind a support level at R0.67 per share. 

However, the upward trajectory met a barrier around R0.83 per share, forming a resistant ceiling amid dwindling buying momentum, leading to a subsequent decline. Presently, the stock rests in a consolidation phase, moving sideways within a rectangular pattern, indicating a sense of market uncertainty. 

Technical indicators, notably the Relative Strength Index (RSI), signal an overbought market, coupled with increased selling volumes within the pattern. This combination hints at a potential reversal in the making. Should selling pressure intensify, breaching the lower boundary of the rectangle pattern could spur further selling activity, leaving the R0.67 per share level probable. Conversely, a surge of optimism among investors might lead to a breakout above the rectangle, ushering in potential upward movements possibly surpassing the established resistance level. 


Facing fiscal headwinds, Ascendis Health’s revenue dynamics showcased strengths in the Medical Devices segment but faltered in consumer health due to economic pressures. The shedding of its debt marked a pivotal shift, hinting at improved financial health and potential investor interest. Recent market fluctuations, amid high trading volumes and technical signals of a possible reversal, hint at an uncertain yet intriguing future for Ascendis Health LTD. 

Sources: Ascendis Health LTD, MoneyWeb, News24, TradingView 

Piece Written By Nkosilathi Dube, Trive Financial Market Analyst 

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