Vocus watches EQT walk away from buyout

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Vocus watches EQT walk away from buyout

Sale prospects fade again.

Vocus has been unable to secure an offer from Swedish private equity group EQT after revealing the potential buyout bid only a week ago.

The telco said in an after-market filing that EQT had “decided not to proceed” with a potential $3.27 billion offer, “following an accelerated period of due diligence”.

“Accordingly, discussions with EQT in relation to [its] indicative proposal have now ceased,” Vocus said.

EQT has snapped up several telco assets in recent weeks, including the Maltese telco Melita and a part-share in the US fibre operator Zayo Group.

EQT is the second buyer to walk away in this round of talks after energy company AGL also put forward an indicative, non-binding offer, but could not agree with Vocus on due diligence terms.

Vocus also previously courted private equity buyout offers back in mid-2017 but was again unable to secure an acceptable price.

Vocus CEO and managing director Kevin Russell remained confident that the telco could achieve its growth ambitions, with or without a buyer.

“There is growing demand for our strategically valuable network assets and we have a substantial opportunity to gain market share in Vocus Networks, which is our core business,” Russell said.

“We thank EQT for their interest in Vocus.

“The Board and management will now be able to focus all of their attention on realising the opportunity that we have ahead of us.”

Vocus said it would hold a strategy update for investors at the end of this month.

Vocus shares last traded at $4.58, well above the $3.89 they were trading for when the EQT bid was announced last week.

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