Vocus Bid One Step Closer to Completion

The $3.4 billion indicative offer Vocus received from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Asset Holdings (MIRA) has survived two weeks of due diligence and yesterday said its potential bidders had added a another party to the offer – Aware Super.

Vocus said it had been advised by MIRA that the firm had entered into a co-operation agreement with Aware Super – previously known as First State Super – to progress its proposal via a consortium.

“The Proposal remains indicative and non-binding, is on the same terms, and remains subject to the same conditions as set out in Vocus’ announcement of 8 February 2021,” Vocus said on Tuesday in a statement to the ASX.

“The Consortium’s due diligence investigations are continuing. The Vocus Board notes that there is no certainty that the Proposal will result in a binding offer for Vocus. Vocus will update the market as appropriate in line with its continuous disclosure obligations.”

MIRA proposes to acquire Vocus via a scheme of arrangement at a price of $5.50 a share.

The latest proposal is the 4th of its kind for the company in nearly four years.

AGL Energy and Swedish private equity group EQT both looked at Vocus’ books in July 2019 before walking away from a deal.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Affinity Partners also pitched bids worth $2.2 billion in 2017, with neither private equity player following through on their initial interest.

Vocus is also working on an initial public offering of its New Zealand operations, with the float expected to be completed before the end of the 2020-21 financial year in June.

Vocus shares were up 1% after the announcement at $5.04. they then sold off to be down under $5 a share at $4.955.

Now there’s an extra pocket in the bidding camp, MIRA can start real talks with Vocus management and board about a realistic price than the first indicative bid.

The market clearly doesn’t think a bid will happen, the discount of 50 cents or more to the suggested offer price tells us that. It’s up to MIRA and Aware Super to change that and narrow the gap by getting serious.

 

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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