Shares in telecoms firm TalkTalk have surged 16% after it agreed to consider a takeover bid from investment firm Toscafund that values it at £1.1bn.
TalkTalk said that its board had “agreed to progress the proposal further” and would consult advisers.
But it added that to make any firm bid, Toscafund would have to get the backing of TalkTalk chairman Charles Dunstone, who owns nearly 30% of the firm.
Toscafund already has a similarly sized stake in the company.
Toscafund’s offer is worth 97p a share, considerably less than a 135p-per-share offer that it reportedly made last year.
TalkTalk Telecom Group
London-based Toscafund is run by founder Martin Hughes, who is believed to be one of the UK’s richest hedge fund managers.
His reputation for tenacity in forcing companies to change has earned him the nickname of “the Rottweiler” in City circles.
If his takeover succeeds, he will be increasing his presence in one of Europe’s biggest and most competitive telecoms markets.
The bid comes amid continued dissatisfaction among customers with the level of service they receive from TalkTalk.
For the past four years, the firm has been the broadband provider that attracted the most complaints, as recorded by regulator Ofcom.
- TalkTalk Group
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