Macquarie Sniffs At Possible $3.4 Billion Aussie Vocus Takeover
SYDNEY: Sydney-based telecommunications provider Vocus, which has been languishing in the Aussie stockmarket, has received a non-binding offer from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) that values it at close to A$3.4 billion.
This saw Vocus’s sharemarket value zoom on the ASX yesterday, racing from $4.38 million on Friday to finish at $4.96 at yesterday’s market close.
Vocus yesterday said it had agreed to explore a potential deal and has allowed MIRA to scrutinise its books. However it was quick to note that there is no certainty the situation would result in a binding offer.
The company has previous been involved in several similar situations that did not move to a firm offer after the companies concerned took a deep dive into Vocus’s books.
Vocus has recently been looking to spin off its New Zealand communications and energy business by the end of the 2021 financial year. It said in November that such a move would provide better balance sheet flexibility and an opportunity to review its long-term dividend policy.
The company, which is headquartered in North Sydney, reported an A$178.2 million net loss in the 2020 financial years, putting most of the blame on a $202 million write-down of its Australian retail business following the advent the coronavirus pandemic.
One of its most famed, though not necessarily the most valuable, assets is the Dodo online services operation, well-known for its dopey-looking bird logo. Far more valuable is its high-performance fibre network, which is said to connect to more than 5000 buildings across Australia’s major capital cities.