Alternative Australian multi-service operator TPG Telecom has intensified the race to acquire Perth-based rival iiNet, upping its bid for the company to one valuing it at AUD1.56 billion (USD1.23 billion) and confirming it will offer an option of shares or cash with a viewing to beating a competing proposal from M2 Group, the owner of alternative broadband providers Dodo and iPrimus. With the iiNet board confirming the development in a press release, it noted that the revised bid from TPG had been received on 5 May, just ahead of an imposed three-day deadline for the latter to beat M2 Group’s offer. As such, the iiNet board also confirmed that it had determined the revised TPG offer as being ‘more favourable’ to shareholders than the bid from M2 Group and as such said it was recommending a vote in favour of the former, ‘in the absence of a superior proposal and subject to the Independent Expert concluding that the Revised TPG Offer is in the best interests of iiNet Shareholders’.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in March 2015 TPG announced plans to acquire rival iiNet in a deal which valued the latter at AUD1.4 billion, offering AUDD8.60 a share for iiNet in what was termed a friendly transaction. Subsequently, last month M2 Group lodged a counterbid to acquire iiNet in an all-share offer worth over AUD1.6 billion; as per the proposal iiNet shareholders would receive 0.803 of an M2 share per iiNet share, as well as AUD0.75 per share by way of a special dividend, meaning that if the deal had been concluded on those terms iiNet shareholders would have held around 42% of the enlarged M2 Group.