KCOM accepts £563m Macquarie bid, ditches USS

The board of Hull-based communications firm KCOM Group said on Monday it will recommend a £563 million offer from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) instead of the £504 million offer from the UK’s Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) it previously backed.

The Macquarie offer values KCOM at 108p per share compared to the 97p per share of the earlier bid from USS, one of Britain’s biggest pension funds.

KCOM shares rose about 13% to around 110p.

“In evaluating the MIRA offer, the board of KCOM has considered various aspects of the MIRA offer and considers the MIRA offer to represent a superior offer for KCOM’s shareholders as compared to the USS offer,” said KCOM in a stock exchange statement.

Patrick De Smedt, interim non-executive chairman of KCOM, said of the Macquarie offer: “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, nead of MIRA EMEA, said: “We are pleased that the KCOM board is recommending our takeover offer.

“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.”