It is up to pension fund USS to respond after latest bid values UK regional service provider at £578 million

As the KCOM auction enters its final day, the Macquarie-backed infrastructure fund still leads the race to acquire the UK regional service provider.

After Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 6 (MEIF) – an investment fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) – lodged a 109.5 pence per share offer on Tuesday, rival bidder Humber Bidco – a unit of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension fund – responded on Wednesday with an offer of 110 pence per share.

KCOM revealed late on Thursday that MIRA has now hit back with a bid of 110.8 pence per share.

The offer values KCOM at £578 million, which represents a 53 percent premium on KCOM’s closing share price on 23 April, the last business day before MIRA and Bidco kicked off their bidding war.

KCOM serves around 140,000 consumers and businesses in Hull and East Yorkshire. Bidco made the first move for the company in April, offering 97 pence per share. MIRA entered the race in June with a bid of 108 pence per share.

Earlier this month, the UK Takeover Panel established that neither party had made a final offer, so proposed an auction in order to bring about a timely conclusion.