KCOM drops USS takeover bid for new Macquarie offer

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KCOM backs new takeover bid

Hull-based telco’s debt increased by 70 pc in 2018

Hull-based telecoms company KCOM has rejected a takeover by a British pension fund after receiving a new offer that was an increase of almost £60 million.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) had offered £504 million for the company. But a bid of £563 million from London-based investment fund Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) now has the support of KCOM’s board.

KCOM provides phone and internet services to 140,000 consumers and businesses across Hull, making the city the only part of the UK where BT does not have the largest presence.

“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,” KCom said in a statement.

KCOM interim non-executive chairman Patrick De Smedt told the BBC: “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.”

MIRA spokesman Leigh Harrison added: “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.”

In KCOM’s half-year report for 2018, it reported an increase in net debt from £63 million in March to £109 million in September, as a result of network investment.

The news comes ahead of the company’s Extraodrinary General Meeting on Wednesday.

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