Chloe Shakesby

TalkTalk set to become private company with £1bn acquisition

A UK telecommunications company has announced that it is set to be acquired in a deal worth more than £1bn.

TalkTalk, which provides television, broadband and mobile network services, has announced that it is recommending to its shareholders the acquisition of the company by Tosca IOM for £1.112bn.

The acquisition would see TalkTalk cease to be a public company, and instead trade as a private company not listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Tosca IOM, a collaboration between asset manager Toscafund and equity investor Penta, has been formed solely for this deal.

The offer comes as TalkTalk reports a 6.6 per cent decrease in revenues for the past year, driven by pandemic measures.

Ian West, senior non-executive director at TalkTalk, commented: “Having considered in detail the best interests of all shareholders and TalkTalk as a whole, the independent TalkTalk directors believe that the cash offer from Toscafund provides an opportunity for shareholders to recognise immediate value for their shares at a premium of approximately 26 per cent to volume-weighted average price for the three month period ended 7 October 2020.

“The independent TalkTalk directors have also taken into account the risks associated in achieving TalkTalk’s strategic ambitions and the wide support that Toscafund would provide in this regard.

“[They] believe, taking into account the advice they have received, that the terms of the cash offer are fair and reasonable and are unanimously recommending that shareholders accept the cash offer.”

Sir Charles Dunstone, TalkTalk’s chairman, said: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue to be a major shareholder in TalkTalk.

“My decision underlines my passion for the company and the confidence the senior management team and I have about our journey ahead.

“That said, as the UK transitions to full fibre we have a hugely challenging, but exciting opportunity.

“Being a private company would allow us to accelerate adoption and focus on our role as the affordable provider of fibre for businesses and consumers nationwide.

“The telecoms industry is going through a fundamental reset and we are keen to play our part in it.”

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