Australian telecommunications company AAPT
Telecommunications has recommended its shareholders reject an
unsolicited takeover proposal made by national telecommunications carrier,
Cable & Wireless Optus (CWO).
AAPT’s Board of Directors, after meeting today with some of the company’s
major shareholders, rejected the $5.00 after deeming it “highly conditional.”
“This opportunistic $5.00 bid substantially undervalues the shares of the
company,” declared AAPT chairman Lee Casey. “It ignores the company’s
growth potential and does not include any premium for control.”
“We believe that AAPT represents a unique opportunity in the Australian
market for CWO and also for a number of international telecommunication
companies with whom we are in discussion. The proposed CWO offer does not
reflect AAPT’s strategic value,” added Casey.
Both Casey and AAPT chief executive Larry Williams maintained that the
company has delivered “exceptional” shareholder value since its November
1997 float. Both Board members believed AAPT’s value could be magnified by
the company’s intentions of improving long distance, cellular, data, and
Internet communications with CBD fibre, LMDS, and CDMA.
Despite the unlikelihood of CWO’s current bid being accepted by
shareholders, the offer will open in early May and cannot close until June
7, at the earliest. In the meantime, other offers may emerge for
shareholders to consider.