Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE:CBB), together with Brookfield Infrastructure (NYSE: BIP; TSX: BIP.UN), announced an agreement through which Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners will acquire Cincinnati Bell in a transaction they value at approximately $2.6 billion, including debt.
According to the agreement, each issued and outstanding share of Cincinnati Bell common stock will be converted into the right to receive $10.50 in cash at closing. The transaction price of $10.50 per share of Cincinnati Bell common stock represents a 36 percent premium to the closing per share price of $7.72 on December 20, 2019 and an 84 percent premium to the 60-day volume weighted average price.
The deal received unanimous approval by Cincinnati Bell’s Board of Directors and is subject to customary closing conditions, including Cincinnati Bell shareholder and regulatory approval.
Lynn Wentworth, Chairman of the Cincinnati Bell Board of Directors, said, “After thoroughly reviewing a range of strategic alternatives and possible business opportunities for maximizing value, the Board determined this transaction was in the best interest of the company, its shareholders, and its customers. The transaction provides clear and immediate value at an attractive premium and represents an exciting new chapter for Cincinnati Bell.”
“The transaction strengthens our financial position, enabling accelerated investment in our strategic products that is not presently available to Cincinnati Bell as a standalone company. This will allow us to drive growth and maximize value over the long term to the benefit of all our stakeholders,” said Cincinnati Bell President/CEO Leigh Fox.
Fox continued: “With Brookfield Infrastructure’s support, we will be better positioned to deliver next generation, integrated communications for our customers through an expanded fiber network. Brookfield Infrastructure provides strong industry expertise with a proven track record of investment in critical data service and infrastructure. The financial, management, and other resources made available to Cincinnati Bell through the acquisition will enhance our networks and services to the benefit of our customers in Hawaii, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, and across the nation.”
“This investment represents an opportunity for Brookfield Infrastructure to acquire a great franchise and leading fiber network operator in North America,” said Brookfield Infrastructure CEO Sam Pollock. “We are excited to leverage our operating expertise to work with the company’s management team as it completes its fiber optic rollout plan. Cincinnati Bell is a great addition to our data infrastructure portfolio and we expect it will contribute strong utility-like cash flows with predictable growth.”
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