Uniti keeps nose in front in Opticomm bidding race

Uniti keeps nose in front in Opticomm bidding race

Uniti Group (ASX: UWL) has been handed a rails run at acquiring fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network operator Opticomm (ASX: OPC) with fellow suitor Aware Super seemingly scratched from the race.

In response to media speculation, Opticomm said today it had not received any contact whatsoever from Aware Super since it entered into the further amended and restated scheme implementation deed with Uniti Group Ltd (Uniti) on 15 October.

"OptiComm's directors reiterate that (in the absence of a superior proposal) they unanimously recommend that OptiComm shareholders vote in favour of the Uniti Scheme and each director intends to cause any OptiComm shares which they own or control to be voted in favour of the Uniti Scheme."

Opticomm's shareholders will take part in a virtual meeting on 6 November to vote on the offer.

The vote is expected to bring the takeover talk to a close, which began in June when Uniti announced a $532 million bid for Opticomm.

This spurred Aware into the contest, and in early September the superannuation giant launched its own bid which valued Opticomm at $606 million.

Uniti promptly matched the offer.

However, the companies vigorously traded offers again until Uniti emerged on top, with an offer that valued Opticomm at close to $694 million, or a 30 per cent increase in value in four months.

It caps an aggressive expansion period for Uniti, which in the space of two years had snapped up LBNCo, OPENetworks and 1300 Australia.

Opticomm marks the group's most ambitious play yet, with Uniti having a market cap of $617 million.

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