Hot on the heels of M2 Group’s AUD1.6 billon (USD1.23 billion) all-share offer for alternative Australian telecoms provider iiNet, the latter has now reportedly given TPG just three days to increase the bid it made for the company in March. According to Reuters, the move essentially means that iiNet has stepped back from a previous endorsement of the TPG offer, and has opted to make itself the object of a bidding war. A timeframe for TPG – itself one of Australia’s largest altnets – to up its offer is understood to have stemmed from Melbourne-based rival M2’s suggestion that it would withdraw its bid in three days should iiNet not agree to it.
In the wake of TPG’s initial bid iiNet described the offer as ‘a significant reward for shareholders who have shown their faith in iiNet’. However, as previously reported by CommsUpdate, following the M2 offer earlier this week Perth-based iiNet went on record as saying: ‘If the iiNet board determines that any counterproposal from TPG would be more favourable, or at least no less favourable to iiNet and its shareholders than the competing proposal from M2, then the iiNet board will recommend the revised TPG counterproposal, subject to no superior proposal emerging … Otherwise iiNet would expect to recommend the M2 proposal, subject to the independent expert finding the offer to be in the best interests of iiNet shareholders and subject to no superior offer emerging.’ M2 currently operates in the Australian telecoms market via several brands including iPrimus and Dodo.