The announcement comes one month after Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) first approached Vocus with a non-binding proposal

Early last month, it was announced that MIRA had reached out to Australia’s Vocus with an indicative and non-binding proposal at a price of AUD5.50 ($4.25) per share for 100% of its business, for a total investment of around $2.7 billion. This offer represents a 25.6% premium on the share value at the start of February.

A few weeks later, it was announced that Superannuation fund Aware Super had entered a co-operative agreement with MIRA, continuing the acquisition process as a consortium. 

Now, Vocus has announced that it has agreed to the acquisition, with the Vocus board unanimously voting in favour of the move. Shareholders will be able to vote on the deal at a meeting in June, with the transaction expected to be completed by July.

“Feedback from shareholders in recent weeks on the indicative offer of $5.50 originally received from MIRA has been overwhelmingly positive and there is a broad recognition that this is a very fair value for Vocus shareholders,” said Vocus chairman Bob Mansfield.

Vocus operates Australia’s second largest fibre network, spanning around 30,000km across major cities. This is the fifth time the company has been approached for acquisition since 2017, but the first time that both parties have managed to reach an agreement.

Vocus CEO Kevin Russell described being taken private as “interesting”, noting that it should give the company increased flexibility when it comes to future investments.

“It gives us a bit more flexibility to invest strategically, without the scrutiny of short-term targets, which I think is advantageous at a time when we are entering a critical investment space,” said Russel. “It’s critical for us to look for strategic infrastructure investment opportunities, a private company is more conducive to making these investments.”

While the deal seems broadly positive for Vocus, it does mean that the Group is being forced to reconsider its planned IPO of its New Zealand operations. The move was initially scheduled for some time in the 2020–21 financial year, but will now likely be suspended. Russel said that the decision to continue or not with the IPO would rest with the new owners.

“There are two paths now, we either IPO a little bit later or we pursue consolidation opportunities with funding coming from (MIRA and Aware),” he said.


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