TPG Telecom buys into Amcom and Vocus merger talks

admin | 杭州桑拿
5 Feb 2019

TPG has bought into Amcom. TPG has bought into Amcom.

TPG has bought into Amcom.

TPG has bought into Amcom.

TPG Telecom has dramatically dealt itself a seat at the table in merger talks between Amcom and Vocus by becoming a substantial shareholder in one of the players.

Vocus approached Amcom about merging the businesses last week in a move that would create a $1.1 billion telco that owns a national fibre cable network and sells phone and internet services to corporate customers around the country.

It is understood an agreement on the ideal merger terms between Amcom and Vocus is imminent and that an announcement was due as early as Friday, in line with Amcom chief executive Clive Stein’s comments that a decision could be made this week.

But TPG on Thursday afternoon made the surprise decision to ramp up its holding in Amcom to over 5.43 per cent – a move that could potentially throw a spanner in the works and force Vocus to offer more value.

Where Amcom was trading at around $2.20 per share on October 31 when TPG began its buying spree, at close of trading on Thursday it was selling for $2.51 per share. Its market capitalisation has also surpassed that of Vocus.

Documents lodged by TPG show it used Bell Potter Securities to gradually purchase 3.9 million Amcom shares worth $8.9 million from October 31 onwards, which added to its existing holding of around 10.46 million shares.

This makes TPG one of the largest shareholders in Amcom and gives them a substantial say in the future of the company.

CIMB research analyst Ian Martin said TPG’s offer would make it harder for Vocus and Amcom to find common ground.

TPG is one of the three companies Mr Martin had pegged as potential rival bidders for Amcom.

“It’ll now be harder for the two to find common ground,” he said. “These discussions always hinge on who provides what value to the entity.

“But I can’t see [TPG executive chairman] David Teoh given his well-established desire to give value for money engaging in a bidding war with Vocus for Amcom so [the increased stake] is probably just a safety mechanism.”

TPG itself was characteristically quiet, issuing a short two-paragraph statement to the market.

“TPG currently has no specific intention regarding Amcom other than to own shares as a strategic investment,” TPG said.

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