Vocus board backs Macquarie's $3.5b takeover offer

Vocus board backs Macquarie's $3.5b takeover offer

Macquarie's (ASX: MQG) $3.5 billion offer to acquire the entirety of telecommunications company Vocus (ASX: VOC) has been backed by the target's board today, putting the ball in the court of shareholders.

If the scheme proceeds, Vocus shareholders would receive $5.50 per share in cash from a consortium comprising Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) and Aware Super.

Once complete, the Consortium would control Vocus and its subsidiaries which include Dodo, Orcon, Slingshot and Nextgen networks.

Further, Vocus would join MIRA's substantial global portfolio, which includes more than 150 businesses, approximately 500 properties, and 4.8 million hectares of farmland across 31 countries.

Vocus chairman Bob Mansfield said the company's board is unanimous in its view that the offer is in the best interests of shareholders.

"In making this assessment, the board considered a range of alternatives, including the execution of our existing strategy under which the proceeds of an IPO of Vocus New Zealand would reduce debt and be invested in our core business," Mansfield said.

"Feedback from shareholders in recent weeks on the indicative offer of $5.50 originally received from MIRA has been overwhelmingly positive and there is a broad recognition that this is a very fair value for Vocus shareholders."

The consideration of $5.50 per share values Vocus equity at $3.5 billion, and an enterprise value of $4.6 billion.

Further, it represents a 25.6 per cent premium to Vocus' last closing price of $4.38 on 5 February, being the last trading day prior to the announcement of MIRA's non-binding proposal.

Vocus managing director and CEO Kevin Russell said the bid values the success of the teclo's three-year turnaround plan.

"This transaction clearly validates the company's strong operational and financial performance, and recognises that we are executing the strategy that we set out in 2018," Russell said.

"As we enter this new stage of investment and growth, support from MIRA and Aware Super will provide the strongest possible foundation for the business and the capacity to invest in our key assets and provide exceptional service to our customers."

Shareholders will be given the opportunity to vote on the offer at a Scheme Meeting, currently expected to be held in June 2021.

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