Australia’s Vocus Group has received a preliminary, indicative and non-binding proposal from private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR) to acquire 100% of the shares in Vocus (on a fully diluted basis) at a cash price of AUD3.5 (USD2.6) per share, valuing the company at around AUD2.2 billion. The ‘indicative proposal’ is subject to a number of conditions, including due diligence to KKR’s satisfaction; availability of financing; unanimous recommendation from the Vocus board; and entry into a definitive scheme implementation agreement between the parties. Any deal would also be subject to a number of further conditions, including shareholder and court approvals and all required regulatory approvals and clearances.
In recent years Vocus Group has undergone a major transformation, transitioning from an Australian, east coast centric, metropolitan fibre operator to the owner of a fully integrated network across Australia and New Zealand. In Australia it operates under the Vocus Communications, Commander, Engin, Dodo and iPrimus brands, while its New Zealand units include Slingshot, Flip, Orcon, Call Plus and 2Talk.
TeleGeography notes that the principal telecommunications assets currently owned by KKR are part of Balkans-focused ‘alternative telecom provider’ the United Group, which operates in Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. More recently, in February this year, the PE firm struck a deal to acquire a 40% stake in Telxius, the infrastructure unit spun off by Spanish giant Telefonica; KKR agreed to pay EUR1.3 billion (USD1.4 billion) for the stake.