5G Networks to proceed with Webcentral Group takeover

The leftovers of Arq Group on track for ownership by fellow ASX-listed firm 5G Networks.

Webcentral Group, the remnants of Arq Group that was formerly the company known as Melbourne IT, is moving forward with its takeover from 5G Networks (5GN).

In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Webcentral said that each of its directors, who collectively have a relevant interest in approximately 19% of the total number of Webcentral shares on issue, have now taken the steps necessary to accept the takeover offer by 5GN.

As a result of those and other acceptances received under its offer, 5GN now has a relevant interest in approximately 34.75% of the shares in Webcentral.

The company said the acceptances are being processed and are expected to be reflected in 5GN's substantial holder notices over the coming days.

"The Webcentral directors unanimously recommend that Webcentral shareholders accept the offer, in the absence of a superior proposal," the company wrote.

The offer is now classed as wholly unconditional and is scheduled to close at 7pm AEDT on 27 October 2020.

In July, Siris Capital Group's Web.com offered Webcentral AU$0.10 per share, approximately AU$12 million, to wholly acquire what was left of the company.

5G Networks then raised its paddle, bidding AU$0.177 per share in early September for a deal valued at around AU$21.6 million.

Web.com upped its offer a week later to AU$0.155 per share, with the AU$18.9 million total to be paid in cash. Web.com a day later revised its proposal to AU$0.18 per Webcentral share.

But opportunity trumped cash, with the board determining the 5GN proposal was superior to the one made by Web.com.

"The Webcentral board has determined that neither the Web.com counterproposal nor the revised Web.com proposal … would provide an equivalent or superior outcome for Webcentral shareholders as a whole compared with the 5GN proposal," the company told shareholders at the time.

Under the terms of the 5GN offer, Webcentral shareholders are offered one 5GN share for every 12 Webcentral shares. Based on there being just over 122 million shares on issue, the sale price sits at around AU$19 million.

Arq Group sold its name in February, alongside the company's enterprise services division for a total of AU$35 million. The sale of its enterprise business left the company with only its SMB division, which was then known as Webcentral following the company's annual general meeting in May.

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