Takeover talk pushes junior telco Inabox Group up 11 pc
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Shares in telecoms junior Inabox hit their highest levels since late last year amid speculation of corporate activity after a long period of underperformance.
The company today confirmed in a statement released to the ASX that a recent spike in its share price “tends to indicate that the activity may have been based on the use of confidential and market sensitive information which is not generally known”.
The shares have run up from lows of around 38c late last month — and they gained another 11c this morning to touch 65.5c.
Inabox said it was engaged in a range of talks. It decided to confirm that talks were underway in “the interests of maintaining a fully informed and fair market for its securities”, it told the ASX.
“Inabox has received a number of informal approaches from parties interested in a range of possible transactions which have included the possible sale of the entire company as well as the possible sale of the Company’s operating businesses separately.”
Interest in the company was due to its shares trading at historical lows “and market dynamics which continue to drive industry consolidation”, it told investors in a statement this morning.
“The sale of one or more of the company’s businesses … could potentially unlock significantly more value for shareholders than has been reflected in the recent price-range of the company’s shares.”
Discussions were “preliminary and confidential” it said, with no certainty a deal would be done.
An earnings downgrade coupled with modest underlying earnings prompted sellers to punish the shares, which slumped to below 40c late last year — well clear of the highs then of around $1.
Inabox provides a range of hosted telecom services, although the sub-optimal scale of some of its operations has hampered its ability to get earnings traction.
Well-known industry player Peter Kazacos has a 9 per cent stake director.
He earlier sold his Anittel business to Inabox for cash and shares in a $10 million deal. Anittel offered hosted services, with the Tasmanian government a large client at that time.
Mr Kazacos is best known for launching Kaz Computer Services which he sold to Telstra in 2004 for $333 million.
Another large investor is M2 Group which has a 7 per cent holding.
M2 was acquired by Vocus two years ago in a $1.35 billion deal.