The Australian telco industry is in a frenzy of bids, counter bids and fast raids as medium level companies try to buy themselves a place at the table and be the next big player.
The latest move is a blocking tactic by TPG Telecom against the $650 million takeover of Amcom by Vocus which would have created the third largest telco after Telstra and Optus.
TPG raided the Amcom share register overnight, gaining a further 10% stake to add to its holdings of about 8.6%.
Market analysts say TPG picked up the 10%, via Macquarie Capital, at a premium of about 2% to yesterday’s close of $2.70.
In a statement to the market, TPG says it intends to vote its shares against Vocus taking over Amcom.
“TPG supports the continued operation of Amcom as a standalone business under the stewardship of the current board of directors and management team,” the TPG statement said. TPG has no intention to make counter takeover proposal.
In an unconnected telco play, TPG itself is facing headwinds in a $1.4 billion bid to buy iiNet which would give it enough additional broadband customers to put it in second place behind Telstra.
Challenging TPG is the the M2 Group which is offering a $1.6 billion share swap, no cash proposal.
The iiNet board is considering the new M2 bid and is expected to give it the green light.