Volante awaits next Commander move

Volante awaits next Commander move

Commander is likely to increase its bid for Volante this week, according to a leading telecommunications analyst.

At the time of writing, the communications integrator's initial hostile takeover bid of $1.01 had seen it acquire 0.07 per cent of the IT services company's shares. It has been on the table for more than two months now but is due to close on March 9.

Telecommunications analyst, Paul Budde, told ARN that Commander's next move would probably be to increase its offer.

"Commander wants to move into the IT market and I think it will continue to pursue Volante because it's already put a lot of effort into the acquisition," he said. "An increased offer isn't unlikely but it's not the only option."

Budde suggested a number of smaller IT players could become Commander acquisition targets. He did not name these companies. Since making an initial bid in December, Commander has used every avenue possible to examine Volante and even extended its offer by a month. Most recently it made an application to the Takeovers Panel to force the IT company to lift reveal details of managed services contracts.

Volante has been understandably guarded about the contracts, which have been key in urging shareholders to reject the takeover. Commander's request to the Takeovers Panel was thrown out.

Despite these setbacks - and Volante's repeated assertion that its business is worth between $1.27 and $1.44 per share - Budde said the deal could still go through.

"Commander would be a good home for Volante, which operates in a market Commander wants to be in," he said. "There's something in this for both parties and they need to sit down together and sort it out.

"Both have to save a little face and it will inevitably need a compromise. But the people at Commander are reasonable. They're not vultures."

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