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Vocus agrees A$3.5bn takeover deal with Macquarie consortium

Robert Mansfield - Vocus 16.9.jpg

Vocus Group has entered into a Scheme Implementation Deed (SID) with a Macquarie-led consortium to acquire the company for A$3.5 billion ($2.7 billion).

“In recent weeks, we have been able to confidently declare that Vocus’ three-year turnaround is complete and that we are moving into a new phase of investment,” said Kevin Russell, managing director and CEO at Vocus Group.

“A key part of the success of our turnaround strategy was the early establishment of Vocus’ three distinct business units – Vocus Network Services, Vocus New Zealand, and Retail. The proposal from Aware Super and MIRA recognises that all three business units have been performing well, with Vocus Network Services winning market share, New Zealand well positioned for market consolidation opportunities and Retail returning to growth in its Consumer business.

The consortium is comprised of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets and its managed funds (MIRA) and Aware Super Pty Ltd (Aware Super) as will acquire 100% of Vocus’ shares at approximately $5.50 cash per share.

The news follows Macquarie lodging a binding offer of $2.62 billion (A$3.42 billion) to acquire the company in February of this year.

“The Vocus Board is unanimous in our view that this offer is in the best interests of Vocus shareholders,” said Bob Mansfield (pictured), chairman of Vocus.

“In making this assessment, the Board considered a range of alternatives, including the execution of our existing strategy under which the proceeds of an IPO of Vocus New Zealand would reduce debt and be invested in our core business. Feedback from shareholders in recent weeks on the indicative offer of $5.50 originally received from MIRA has been overwhelmingly positive and there is a broad recognition that this is a very fair value for Vocus shareholders”.

As a result of this SID, Vocus will no longer go ahead with its proposed IPO of Vocus New Zealand, so long as it remains in effect.

The SID is subject to shareholder approval, court approval and regulatory approval. According to its indicative timetable the first court hearing will take place in May 2021, shareholding voting at the scheme meeting in June 2021 and implementation set for July 2021.

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