Australian broadband networks owner Uniti Group has agreed to a nearly A$3.62 billion ($2.7 billion) takeover offer by a unit of Canadian Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and hedge fund manager Morrison & Co.
The shares of Uniti Group have shot up by over 50% since entering exclusive talks with Morrison on 15th March 2022, were up 3.1% at a record high of A$4.97 per share in early trading.
Under the term of the offer, shareholders of Uniti Group will receive A$5.0 per share, representing a premium of 58.7% to the share’s closing price on 14th March, a day before the telecommunications company received an initial A$4.50 per share offer from Morrison & Co.
The takeover marks the second-largest business transaction targeting an Australian firm so far this year, trailing Blackstone Inc.’s A$8.9 billion purchase of Australian Casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd. It is also the most significant deal for an Australian infrastructure firm in 2022 when real-asset sectors are undergoing a surge of takeovers led by profit-hungry sovereign and pension funds.
The takeover deal follows a bidding war over Uniti that included a rival offer on 24th March from PSP Investments and Macquarie Asset Management at A$5 each per share.