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Vocus chief spruiks turnaround effort as AGL withdraws A$3b deal

Vocus Group CEO Kevin Russell has reminded shareholders that the company is in the midst of a three-year turnaround effort after the latest in a series of potential buyers walked away from the takeover table.

AGL Energy announced on 17 June it had decided to cease due diligence on Vocus Group and withdraw the non-binding proposal to acquire the telco it had announced just days before.

According to AGL managing director and CEO Brett Redman, the energy company was “no longer confident that an acquisition of Vocus at the proposed terms would represent sufficient certainty of creating value for AGL shareholders.”

At the same time, Redman maintained that AGL believes there will be material opportunities for the company as energy and data value streams continue to converge and the traditional energy sector accelerates its transformation.

“The approach to Vocus reflected our view that the Vocus asset base has attributes that could support the execution of this strategy and benefit our customers,” Redman said.

AGL pitched its multibillion-dollar proposal to shareholders on 11 June, saying at the time that it had been granted exclusive access to conduct due diligence on the telco for a period of four weeks.

The takeover proposal, worth just over A$3 billion, came almost exactly a week after another potential suitor, Scandanavian private equity group EQT Infrastructure, pulled out of its own non-binding takeover play for Vocus, scrapping a deal that would have been worth nearly A$3.27 billion.

At the time, Russell reiterated earlier comments that Vocus was in the early stages of a business turnaround and maintained that the company had “great confidence” that its strategy would deliver significant value in the medium to long-term.

Now, following the withdrawal of AGL from the negotiating table, Russell has once again pointed to the company’s turnaround activities.

“As we have repeatedly said, this is a three-year turnaround,” he said, noting that with the AGL deal off the table, the Vocus management team will now be able to focus all of its attention on “realising the opportunity that we have ahead of us.”



Categories: ANZ, Broadband, M&A, Networks, telco, Telcos

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