Businesses increase bids to purchase Hawaiian Telcom parent

HONOLULU — Two competing companies increased their bids to purchase the parent company of Hawaiian Telcom Inc.

Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP made its third all-cash offer Wednesday for Cincinnati Bell Inc., The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

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Toronto-based Brookfield raised its offer for Hawaiian Telcom parent Cincinnati Bell to $13.50 per share in cash from its previous bid of $12.50 per share.

The new offer values the transaction at about $2.8 billion, including debt.

Cincinnati Bell’s board approved the amended deal and recommended that its shareholders vote in favor of adopting the Brookfield merger agreement.

Cincinnati Bell “carefully reviewed” the terms of the amended Brookfield proposal and determined the agreement was “in the best interest of Cincinnati Bell and its shareholders,” the company said.

The transaction is subject to shareholder approval and regulatory approvals and is expected to close by the end of this year.

Cincinnati Bell acquired Hawaiian Telcom in July 2018 for $650 million in stock and cash, making Hawaiian Telcom shareholders new owners of Cincinnati Bell stock.

Brookfield raised its offer twice from an initial bid of $10.50 per share in December.

Brookfield increased the bid to $12.50 per share last week after Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Inc. offered $12 per share in January.

Macquarie/Real Assets topped Brookfield’s offer again Monday with a proposal of $13.50 per share, prompting Brookfield to match the bid.

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Investors bid up Cincinnati’s Bell’s stock 1%, or 14 cents, to $14.64 after Brookfield’s deal was announced. The closing price represents an 8.4% increase from the $13.50 offer price.

Cincinnati Bell’s shares are up 39.8% this year.

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