MNF Group’s play for telco provider Inabox has torpedoed its share price, and another offer out of left-field has just kept pushing it down.

The telco made an offer priced at around 80c a share for Inabox (ASX:IAB) shareholders, but on Friday that was trumped by an unexpected bid of 90c from SB&G Telecoms, a subsidiary of SB&G Group.

MNF’s (ASX:MNF) offer in October for the troubled company gave Inabox shareholders an ‘out’ nearly exactly a year after their stock halved, following a loss of major customers and a profit downgrade.

But what’s good for Inabox has been disastrous for MNF, whose stock has lost 26 per cent of its value since making the offer.

MNF made the offer just after announcing a capital raising at $4.40 a share to pay off debt and get some cash to play with, and after unveiling a dip in full year profit.

It was a premium to where the share price has been ever since.

MNF closed on Monday at $3.85.

To top that off, Inabox postponed a shareholder meeting on Monday that was supposed to rubber stamp the deal so it can work out how to deal with competing takeover offers.

Getting more expensive

What had looked like a done deal is now looking much more expensive for MNF — if the actions of two fund managers are any indication.

A week before rival SB&G Telecoms lobbed its 90c a share offer, two fund managers bought large stakes in Inabox, suggesting they at least reckon a potentially profitable fight is brewing.

NAOS Asset Management has built up a position of 12.27 per cent since November 8, and on Monday Harvest Lane Asset Management increased its holding to 8.15 per cent.

Interestingly, NAOS has also been building a stake in MNF during 2018 — it owns 17.9 per cent.

MNF Group (ASX:MNF) is offering up to $33.5m for Inabox’s telecommunications and enablement services business, but that includes $5.5m worth of escrowed payments and monies dependent on the assets meeting certain milestones in the seven months after the sale.

What shareholders would get, if those payments are achieved and after Inabox pays off about $11.7m in current debt, is 80c a share, or $19m.

SB&G Telecoms is offering 90c a share or $21.4m.

Inabox closed on Monday at 89.5c, a level not seen since October 2017.