AGL's $3 billion Vocus acquisition back on the table

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AGL's $3 billion Vocus acquisition back on the table

Acquisition talks between Vocus and AGL are back on after the energy retailer put in a fresh offer to buy the telco for just over $3 billion.

The non-binding, indicative offer by AGL Energy is to acquire all of Vocus’s shares for $4.85 each in cash, valuing the company at $3.017 billion. That’s $300 million less than the offer from EQT Infrastructure, which pulled its acquisition proposal last week after an “accelerated” period of due diligence.

AGL’s offer still represents a sizeable markup on Vocus’s current share price of $3.83 at the time of writing. The last time Vocus’s shares hit $4.85 was in late 2016, save for the week-long boost between EQT’s offer going public and being rescinded.

AGL was in talks to acquire Vocus before EQT’s offer, but withdrew its offer after being unable to come to due diligence terms.

Vocus chief executive Kevin Russell confirmed that AGL returned with a proposal after discussions with EQT ceased.

“There is a clear market opportunity for Vocus, which is generating significant interest in our business and our assets,” said Russell.

“We are focused on executing our turnaround strategy and delivering the opportunity in front of us. However, we have been clear that the board will always act in the best interests of our shareholders to engage with credible parties that bring forward proposals that are worthy of further consideration.”

As is to be expected, the proposal is still subject to a number of conditions, including four weeks of exclusive due diligence, which Vocus granted. It also required unanimous support from Vocus’s board of directors, and the company warned there was no certainty that a binding offer would eventuate.

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