Macquarie’s Infrastructure Unit Bids A$3.4 Billion for Vocus

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Macquarie Group Ltd.’s infrastructure unit has bid about A$3.4 billion ($2.6 billion) for data services company Vocus Group Ltd., which has had several potential suitors walk away in recent years.

The offer values Vocus shares at A$5.50 each, 26% more than Friday’s closing price, the Sydney-based data company said in a statement Monday. Macquarie has been granted access to Vocus’s books, to enable it to potentially put forward a binding offer, Vocus said.

Vocus shares rose 19% to A$5.20 in early Sydney trading.

Vocus has fielded several approaches in recent years. In July 2019, AGL Energy Ltd. withdrew a A$3 billion bid just a week after starting due diligence. Swedish group EQT Infrastructure abandoned an offer earlier the same month. KKR & Co. and Affinity Equity Partners Ltd. both made separate A$2.2 billion bids for the firm in 2017.

Vocus controls more than 30,000 kilometers (18,600 miles) of fiber cable in Australia connecting the country’s major cities, as well as an international network stretching from Australia and New Zealand to Singapore, Hong Kong and the U.S.

With their steady earnings streams, telecommunications networks are attractive investments for long-term focused infrastructure investors like Macquarie, which last year raised close to $3 billion for a new fund aimed at Asian investments.

Last year, junior telecommunications business OptiComm Ltd. was subject to a bidding war between Uniti Group and Australian pension fund Aware Super.

Credit Suisse Group AG is advising Vocus.

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