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Energis rubbishes Thus bid

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Telco Energis has ripped apart the takeover offer made by its smaller rival Thus, as it continues to recommend its shareholders accept the “fully-committed offer” from Cable & Wireless due to lapse this evening.

C&W and Energis spent the weekend thrashing out details of a potential deal – the C&W offer is due to expire at 5pm today. C&W is involved in a game of brinksmanship with some hold-out Energis shareholders who want the telco to stump up more cash.

Thus announced earlier today that it had made an offer worth around £800m to Chelys, Energis’ parent, at the end of July but was rebuffed. This announcement is seen as an effort by Thus to persuade Energis shareholders to allow the current C&W deal to lapse, giving Thus time to firm up its bid.

Chelys’ board, in a statement, took the Thus bid apart, saying it amounted to a “reverse takeover of Thus by Chelys” and explaining that it had rejected it “for reasons of value, uncertainty and deliverability.”

Thus’ offer did not offer the same potential value or upfront cash, said Chelys’s board. In addition, Thus would need new banking arrangements and “very substantial equity raising”.

And in comparison with the quick timetable offered by C&W, Chelys said the Thus offer would result in “protracted processes…which could be expected to last for many months.”®

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