Macquarie infrastructure fund lodges higher offer in round two of auction

Bids for KCOM have topped £570 million, with a Macquarie-backed fund currently leading the race for the UK regional service provider.

Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 6 (MEIF) – an investment fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) – lodged an offer of 109.5 pence per share for KCOM on Tuesday, valuing the telco at £571 million. It is an increase of just one penny over the latest bid made by rival suitor Humber Bidco, a unit of Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), a £50 billion pension fund.

The two have been vying for KCOM for months.

Bidco made the first move in April, agreeing to acquire the operator for 97 pence per share.

MIRA entered the fray in June, offering 108 pence per share, valuing KCOM at £563 million.

With neither bidder prepared to back down, the UK Takeover Panel earlier this month ruled that the matter be settled via auction. The ruling was accepted by all parties involved.

The auction kicked off on Monday morning, and Bidco made the first move, topping MIRA’s bid by just half a penny. Now that MIRA has topped that offer, the ball is back in Bidco’s court.

With this Friday set to be the final day of the auction, the months-long battle for KCOM will soon draw to a close.