First State Super pops up as last minute bidder for telco OptiComm
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OptiComm is a telco that targets planned lifestyle communities such as retirement villages and only listed on the ASX last year. It seemed all but certain OptiComm would be swallowed up by fellow telco Uniti.
But this morning superannuation fund First State Super made a competing bid for OptiComm on an indicative and non-binding basis. The offer of $5.85 per share is over 14 per cent higher than Uniti’s $5.10 per share offer.
First State’s bid would value OptiComm at about $608m and, like Uniti’s offer, would include a special dividend of 10c per share.
The new offer has emerged just two days before the meeting to consider Uniti’s bid was to be held.
OptiComm has now moved to postpone the meeting and consider First State’s bid, pointing out that the value premium made it inappropriate to dismiss the bid straight off the bat.
It will now give First State until next Friday to conduct limited due diligence on the company.
However, OptiComm noted First State’s bid was not a binding proposal yet and it did not consider the competing proposal to be superior to Uniti’s bid.
The company also reminded shareholders that breaking the Uniti deal would leave it with a $5.4m break-fee to pay.
OptiComm reiterated the board’s intention to vote in favour of the Uniti deal.
OptiComm shares rose 10 per cent on Tuesday morning. Having listed at $2 per share, the company is now worth nearly three times more in just over 12 months.
Meanwhile, Uniti shares fell over 6 per cent but are still well ahead of their 20c IPO price.