New bidder enters the battle for Vocus

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New bidder enters the battle for Vocus

Puts in matching $2.2bn offer.

Asian private equity firm Affinity Equity Partners has made a rival offer for Vocus Group, matching a $2.2 billion bid made earlier in June by KKR.

Vocus on Tuesday morning announced Affinity had put forward a $3.50 per share indicative proposal for the listed telco after trade last night.

Affinity and KKR's identical offers value the company at around $2.2 billion.

Vocus last week granted due dilligence to KKR following its early June proposal.

It has now decided to offer both firms the opportunity to conduct due dilligence on the company.

The private equity firms have swooped while Vocus' share price is sitting significantly lower than the $9.40 high it reached last year.

A 20 percent profit downgrade caused Vocus' share price to tumble to less than half its value in six months.

Its share price has recovered somewhat over the last month; at the time of writing one Vocus share was worth $3.45, compared to $2.86 at the time of KKR's bid on June 7. At its lowest point Vocus' share price reached $2.35.

An acquisition of Vocus would not be Affinity's first investment in the Australian market. It owns all of Ticketek parent TEG, and holds a 35 percent stake in Virgin Australia's Velocity frequent flyer business, among other investments.

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