IT service provider AC3 has one-upped Macquarie Telecom's bid to acquire ASX-listed hosting provider Bulletproof by putting down a 15.2 cents cash per share offer for the company.
Bulletproof today revealed it had received bids from a "number" of parties, all higher than the $0.11 per share Macquarie Telecom offered in late November.
The most "executable" offer at this stage is a $0.152 cash per share bid from AC3, the company said.
It is currently evaluating all bids and is in discussions with the parties. Bulletproof did not disclose the identities of the other bidders.
In a statement AC3 said the acquisition would play a key part of its growth strategy.
"We are always looking for options that will complement our existing business and add further value for our customers," AC3 CEO Simon Xistouris said in a statement.
AC3's bid values Bulletproof at around $24 million.
Macquarie Telecom's bid gave Bulletproof a valuation of $18 million. Bulletproof's shares are currently trading at $0.12.
The MacTel offer was a near 65 percent premium on Bulletproof's then-closing price of $0.067, and won the approval of Bulletproof CEO Anthony Woodward, who has given MacTel the right to buy his 16 percent shareholding.
But the acquisition hit a roadblock late last year when the Bulletproof board rejected the MacTel offer as being "opportunistic" and not reflective of the company's true value.
Macquarie Telecom has blasted the board's rejection of its offer as "misleading and deceptive", last week applying to the federal Takeovers Panel to force the board to change its advice to shareholders.
It has extended its offer for Bulletproof until March 30 while it awaits a decision from the Takeovers Panel.
AC3 started life as a state-owned service provider to the NSW government more than 15 years ago.
It was sold to system integrator Klikon Solutions in December 2013 as a result of the NSW governrment's strategy to move away from being a provider of IT services to a purchaser.
The company today offers services spanning cloud, software, managed services, procurement, professional services and talent management.