Vocus receives $3.3 billion takeover offer from Swedish private equity group

Vocus Group has opened its books to Swedish private equity group EQT Infrastructure after the telco received a $3.3 billion indicative offer.

In a statement to the ASX on Monday, Vocus it had received a confidential, non-binding indicative proposal at $5.25 a share, subject to due diligence. Vocus shares closed on Friday at $3.89.

The proposal is also subject to financing and the full support of the Vocus board.

"After consideration by the board and the company's advisers, the board decided to grant non-exclusive due diligence access to EQT to enable EQT to potentially put a formal binding proposal to Vocus. That process is likely to take a number of weeks," said the ASX statement from Vocus which also mentioned it has appointed UBS and Allens as its advisers.


The board, led by Bob Mansfield, said there is no certainty the process will lead to an offer for the telco.


Vocus shares were trading as high as $9 just three years ago.

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The telco was hit with a class action in April over a profit downgrade in 2017 that triggered a share price rout.

Vocus said at the time that it would defend the claim brought against it by law firm Slater and Gordon on behalf of investors in the group.

In a statement of claim, the shareholders allege Vocus also breached its continuous obligation requirements by not confessing to its missed profit forecast to investors earlier.

Vocus shocked the market in May 2017 when it announced it expected its full-year profit for the year to June 30, 2017 to come in at between $160 million and $165 million – a significant drop on its earlier forecast profit of between $205 million and $215 million for the same period.

Vocus shares fell about 27 per cent in the days following the downgrade.

The downgrade came amid executive upheaval at Vocus following a failed tilt by founder and then director James Spenceley and Amcom chairman Tony Grist to spill the leadership of the group.

Mr Spenceley and Mr Grist resigned from the board after Vocus resisted their spill push.