Thursday 22 August 2019

KCOM shares jump after Macquarie swoops in with £563m bid

The firm had previously backed an offer by the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension fund but has now spurned the offer.

KCOM’s board has put its weight behind a bid from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for the firm (PA)
KCOM’s board has put its weight behind a bid from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets for the firm (PA)

By Henry Saker-Clark, Press Association City Reporter

Shares in East Yorkshire telecoms firm KCOM have surged after the firm’s board threw its weight behind a new offer to buy the company.

The firm had previously backed an offer by the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension fund but has now spurned the offer in favour of a new bid from a Macquarie Investment fund.

KCOM, which holds a monopoly over telecoms in Hull and other areas of East Yorkshire, said its board has backed the £563 million bid from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA).

The bid marks a significant upgrade in value on the £504 million offer from USS, which the board publicly supported last month.

The Macquarie offer values the group, which provides broadband and telephone services to more than 140,000 customers in East Yorkshire, at 108p per share, up from the 97p per share offer tabled by USS.

The Hull-headquartered firm is due to hold its EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) on Wednesday. This will be opened and adjourned, with shareholders set to consider the new bid and the meeting will be reconvened on a later date.

Patrick De Smedt, interim non-executive chairman of KCOM, said: “This offer provides our shareholders with even greater value in cash for their shares, as well as providing KCOM with a strong partner as we work to maintain, build and enhance our offering and position.”

Leigh Harrison, head of MIRA EMEA, said: KCOM has a strong local heritage that has been developed over more than a century and is well-positioned to continue to meet the evolving telecommunications needs of the region, which is why we have made this compelling offer to shareholders at an attractive premium.

“As an experienced, long-term telecommunications investor, we are committed to supporting KCOM’s sustainable growth.

“We look forward to partnering with management to increase broadband take-up in its core region and beyond, enhancing the quality of service delivery while giving local businesses and residents greater access to the opportunities that high-speed broadband can provide.”

Shares in KCOM were up 12.8% at 109.4p in early trading on Monday.

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