On Tuesday Vocus told the ASX it had a $2.1 billion bid from US private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. According to the Australian Financial Review, other potential buyers are also looking at the company.
One of the advisors appointed to help Vocus deal with the KKR and other bids is Credit Suisse. Earlier the financial services group issued a report suggesting a private equity buyer could get a better return if it sold Vocus’ non-core assets. Credit Suisse identified the saleable non-core assets. The list includes New Zealand’s third largest telco: CallPlus.
The CallPlus group includes the Slingshot and Orcon internet brands along with FX Networks. CallPlus founders Malcolm Dick and Annette Presley sold the CallPlus business to another Australian telco, M2, in 2015. Soon after that acquisition was completed Vocus merged with M2. The company picked-up Orcon from Semple Investments in a 2014 firesale. Semple acquired Orcon from Kordia a year earlier.
So that’s Kordia, Semple, CallPlus, M2 and Vocus in four years. Another buyer would make owner number six.