First State Super has made a A$600m (€369m) bid for Opticomm, Australia’s largest private provider of fibre broadband cables.

The bid comes as Opticomm weighs up an offer from a competing telecoms company, Uniti, which may now be forced into a bidding war with the A$125bn industry fund.

Opticomm today informed the Australian Stock Exchange that the non-binding competing proposal from First State is A$5.85 cash per share, 12.5% more than Uniti’s A$5.20 a share or A$532m offer in June.

Opticomm said: “The competing proposal includes due diligence and final investment committee approval conditions.”

Opticomm investors were due to vote on the takeover proposal from Uniti this coming Thursday (September 10), but Opticomm said it would now seek court permission for a postponement.

Industry sources said around a third of Uniti’s investors were also investors in Opticomm.

IPE Real Assets understands that a successful First State Super offer would be the first “take private” deal where a super fund has provided 100% equity.

This is also the first example of an Australian super fund bidding on its own in a “take” deal, without an investment manager.

A source said First State Super had previously been involved in “take private” transactions, but only as part of a consortium.

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