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Vocus fends off TPG to secure AU$1.2b deal for Amcom

Despite a blocking move by TPG, Amcom shareholders have decisively voted to merge with Vocus Communications.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Amcom Telecommunications shareholders have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a AU$1.2 billion tie up with rival Vocus, defying TPG's attempts to block the deal.

At a meeting in Perth on Monday, more than 77 percent of shares voted in favour of the takeover, with 181 million shares for versus 53 million shares against, following a shareholder campaign from Amcom's board of directors.

TPG bought a 19.9 percent stake in Amcom in April, with the intention of voting against the proposed takeover. The move could have been enough to block the takeover, given that 75 percent of shareholders needed to vote in favour of the proposal, and voting is non-compulsory.

But Amcom launched a concerted effort to convince shareholders to participate and cast their votes in favour of the deal, resulting in an almost 90 percent turnout for the vote. Chairman Tony Grist told shareholders at the start of the meeting that every vote was needed.

"To implement the scheme, every shareholder vote is crucial. Therefore, I strongly encourage all Amcom shareholders to cast their vote in relation to the scheme, so that it has a stronger chance of succeeding," he said.

In an effort to get the vote passed, Vocus last month sold its 10 percent stake in Amcom, which Grist said on Monday removed uncertainty and allowed the market to determine where the deal would go ahead.

Vocus first made its move for Amcom in December 2014, but, as time went on, TPG became an ever-larger thorn in the side of Vocus.

In November last year, TPG took a "strategic investment" in Amcom, claiming a 6 percent stake in the telco amid talks between Amcom and Vocus over combining the two businesses.

By April this year, TPG had increased its stake to 18.6 percent, blatantly announcing the Vocus merger as the catalyst behind an increased investment. As a result, Vocus called on the ACCC to investigate TPG's intervention.

With AAP

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