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Thus throws hat into Energis ring

And Thus Spake, err, Thus

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Thus has gone public with an £800m 'proposal' for Energis, which would trump an agreed offer from rival Cable & Wireless.

In a statement today, the Scottish telco urged stakeholders in Chelsys (Energis's holding company) not "to accept any proposal from any third party until the board of Chelys has initiated a process allowing Thus to present a definitive proposal to Chelys stakeholders".

Thus submitted a proposal to the Chelys board on 27 July. On 1 August it received a letter from the Chelys board that it was "was in a period of exclusivity with another party".

Until the emergence of Thus today, the general thinking among analysts was that C&W was in a field of one in a list of prospective buyers for Energis.

C&W is currently playing hardball with a group of Energis debt holders which are seeking the full principal on their debt - in other words they want more money. The company says it will not increase its £780m offer and will walk away if 75 per cent of the debt holders do not accept it by end of play today.

Thus is profitable and it has a more modern network than that of Energis. Significant capex savings could be achieved through a combined group.

But it is much smaller than cash-rich C&W. Also, it would have to fund any acquisition through debt finance and equity. It says its advisors, which include Citigroup, "believe that the required debt and equity financing will be available". ®

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