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Uniti ups bid to compete with First State Super

Telecommunications company Uniti Group has upped its bid for listed telco OptiComm, as it goes head to head with First State Super to take the company private.

It comes as Uniti also secures a 19.5% stake in OptiComm shares though commitments from a number of institutional shareholders, comprising of call option and share purchase agreements.

This stake, Uniti believes, strengthens its position to successfully complete the acquisition of OptiComm over that of the industry super fund.

Uniti is now offering OptiComm shareholders a revised consideration of $4.835 cash and 0.80537 in Uniti shares per OptiComm share; a total offer of $5.85 per OptiComm share.

The consideration implies a fully diluted OptiComm equity value of $610 million, which will be funded by a combination of the issuance of 84 million Uniti shares to OptiComm shareholders and a 3-year debt facility with Westpac and CBA worth $250 million, as well as existing cash.

As of August 21, Uniti had approximately $302 million in cash on its balance sheet.

It comes after First State Super made a bid to acquire 100% of the shares in OptiComm for $5.85 per share.

In an ASX release, OptiComm said it was yet to receive a binding proposal from First State, and subsequently, its board considers the Uniti offer to be a "superior proposal" to the competing offer from the industry super fund.

A meeting for shareholders to vote on the offer is set for October 13, with the scheme scheduled to be implemented on October 30.

The directors of OptiComm have unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the Uniti scheme "in the absence of a superior proposal".

Uniti had provided First State a due diligence period until September 18.

First State Super declined to comment.

Read more: OptiCommFirst State SuperUniti GroupCBAWestpac
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