iiNet shareholders vote yes to TPG takeover

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iiNet shareholders vote yes to TPG takeover

Majority support for under-scrutiny deal.

iiNet shareholders today voted overwhelmingly in favour of rival TPG's bid to take over the internet service provider, as the pair wait to see how Australia's competition regulator responds to the deal.

Around 95 percent of iiNet shareholders today voted in support of TPG's $1.56 billion buyout. The company had offered $9.55 per iiNet share, comprising $8.80 cash and a $0.75 special dividend.

Only just under 5 percent - or 5.2 million votes - were cast against the buyout bid.

Shareholders were earlier given the option of choosing between cash or scrip, excluding the special dividend which will be paid in cash.

TPG shares turned out to be a popular offer for iiNet's shareholders, with opt-ins equating to 48.2 million new TPG shares - almost double the 27.5 million shares TPG had capped its offering at.

iiNet's board unanimously supported the deal, despite opposition from a number of shareholders including iiNet founder Michael Malone and one of the ISP's biggest shareholders Merlon Capital.

Final hurdle

TPG still needs a green light from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to go ahead with the takeover.

The competition watchdog has already flagged concerns about the effect the takeover will have on the wider telco market and customer service.

The ACCC will make its final decision by August 20 and is currently consulting with interested parties.

In early June it revealed it thought the merger would substantially lessen competition between ISPs.

The combination of iiNet and TPG would create Australia's second largest broadband provider behind Telstra. The ACCC said the reduction in competition that would result from the merger would have a flow-on effect potentially ending in higher prices and degradation of customer services for end users.

Should the ACCC rubberstamp the merger, iiNet's shares will be transferred to TPG and the ISP will become a TPG subsidiary from September 7.

TPG has previously highlighted its intention to retain the main iiNet brand.

More to come

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