C&W Optus pushes bid talks with AAPT

Cable & Wireless Optus yesterday pressed ahead with its hostile bid to acquire AAPT, serving the carrier with a Part A Statement in relation to the offer.

Commenting on the bid yesterday, Chris Anderson, chief executive, Cable and Wireless Optus (C&W Optus), said his company would walk away from its AAPT takeover bid if it could not clinch the deal for a "fair price".

Anderson said: "We believe our offer of $5.00 per share represents excellent value for AAPT shareholders. It is not in the interests of C&W Optus shareholders to pay more for AAPT than the company is worth, so we will walk away if we cannot conclude the deal at a fair price."

C&W Optus expects to deliver its formal offer to AAPT shareholders by mid May. The offer is conditional on regulatory approvals.

If the bid is successful, Anderson will recommend the establishment of a business review and integration committee, to include representatives from the senior management of both companies.

"Our current intentions as stated in the Part A document are based only on information publicly available on AAPT. C&W Optus has had no access to AAPT's business plan, financial position, marketing objectives or other confidential information, which will be obtained as part of the review process," Anderson said.

"Whilst the review is being conducted, our intention for AAPT is to ensure the business continues uninterrupted and as normal," he said.

"To ensure the acquisition works we intend to do a lot of listening, to understand how AAPT's business works, how the two businesses complement each other, and what customers really want."

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