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Cincinnati Bell Gets Bigger-Than-Brookfield Buyout Bid

Cincinnati Bell has received an unsolicited offer that is 14% higher than the buyout bid it accepted from Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. on December 23.

On January 22, the provider said that it received a non-binding proposal from an unnamed infrastructure fund ("the Fund"), to acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Cincinnati Bell for $12 per share in cash, compared to the $10.50 bid from Brookfield, in a deal valued at $2.6 billion, including debt.

The company says it "has commenced discussions with the Fund," once its board gave permission. The Cincinnati Bell board, at the moment, said it remains in support of the Brookfield Infrastructure buyout.

Cincinnati Bell runs communications networks in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, and Hawaii, and other subsidiaries, with a footprint of over 1.3 million homes, delivering broadband, video and voice services to residential and enterprise customers. The company is currently undertaking a significant upgrade of its network to next-generation fiber that will support the increased demand for data and the coming of 5G.

Telecom M&A activity by private equity firms has been heating up. In July, Brookfield spent $3.66 billion for Reliance Industries' telecom tower assets in India, and AT&T sold 1,000 cell towers to private equity firm Peppertree Capital Management for $680 million on October 25 2019.

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— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading

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