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KCOM accepts Macquarie fund's £563M offer over pension fund unit's bid

KCOM Group PLC has abandoned its planned sale to a unit of a British pension fund in favor of a higher £563 million all-cash offer from an investment fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) Ltd.

The telecom operator's board intends to recommend an offer by Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 6 SCSp's MEIF 6 Fibre Ltd. to acquire KCOM's entire share capital for £1.08 per share. The offer is higher than the bid from Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd. subsidiary Humber Bidco Ltd. of 97 pence per share, or about £504 million.

The Macquarie-managed fund will acquire KCOM through a court-approved scheme of arrangement, but reserves the right to launch a takeover offer. The arrangement is subject to approval by shareholders representing at least 75% of KCOM's share capital. Subject to conditions, the arrangement is expected to become effective in the middle of the year.

KCOM has decided to postpone the court meeting and general meeting set for June 5 in relation to the USS-backed offer.

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets is an alternative asset manager that invests in critical telecom infrastructure. It has existing investments in U.K. towers company Arqiva Ltd., Polish cable operator Inea SA and Danish telecom provider TDC A/S.