The bidding war for East Yorkshire-based broadband provider KCOM is heating up as suitors increase their offers by a penny here and half a penny there.
Clearly this is not the sort of thing management at London-listed KCOM had in mind when they launched an auction at the weekend, presumably with dreams of cashing in.
Humber Bidco – a subsidiary of the UK's largest pension fund, Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd (USSL) – confirmed its intention to make a 97-pence-per-share offer on 24 April, which valued KCOM at £504m.
The sales stakes were then upped by private equity investor Macquarie on 3 June, when it pitched an intent to pay 108 pence per share for the Hull-based biz, heaping another £59m onto the valuation.
Fast-forward to this month, and KCOM said that on the "basis that neither offerer has declared its offer final", the panel set up to oversee any buy insisted it needed an "orderly framework" to resolve the "competitive situation" and moved to an auction.
Bidding began on Monday of this week, with Humber Bidco making overtures to the tune of 108.5p per share, taking the valuation to £566m.