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Sweden's EQT steps back from $2.3 billion offer for Vocus

Christian Fernsby |
Vocus Group said Swedish private equity firm EQT Infrastructure had withdrawn its $2.30 billion buyout offer.

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“Following an accelerated period of due diligence, EQT has decided not to proceed with the transaction outlined in the indicative proposal,” Vocus said in a statement.

The withdrawal comes just a few days after Australian energy retailer AGL Energy Ltd revealed it had made and then ditched a takeover offer for Vocus as it could not agree on due diligence terms with the telecoms firm.

U.S. buyout firm KKR and Co Inc and Asian peer Affinity Equity Partners had pursued and then abandoned their own plays for Vocus in 2017 after a string of profit warnings from the telco.

Australia’s fourth-biggest internet provider had issued several profit warnings, lost its chief executive and had to scrap the sale of its New Zealand arm, as competition in recent years had cut its profit margin.

Competition in the industry has also prompted TPG Telecom Ltd and the local arm of Britain’s Vodafone Group PLC to pursue a A$15 billion merger.

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