Shares of Cincinnati Bell (NYSE:CBB) jumped this morning, racing ahead to a 34.8% gain as of 10:15 a.m. EST, after Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE:BIP) announced it will acquire the telecommunications provider in a transaction valued at $2.6 billion.
Brookfield says it plans to pay $10.50 per share to Cincinnati Bell shareholders, and the stock is now trading within just a few pennies of that takeout price.
This will be an all-cash transaction, providing "clear and immediate value at an attractive premium" to Cincinnati Bell shareholders, according to the companies' boards of directors. For its part, Brookfield management said the deal "represents an opportunity ... to acquire a great franchise and leading fiber-network operator in North America."
Cincinnati Bell owns and operates the leading data transmission and distribution network in Cincinnati and Hawaii, with a footprint of over 1.3 million homes.
Regulators permitting, the deal is expected to close before the end of 2020. With Cincinnati Bell shares now trading near the price Brookfield is bidding, it appears investors are pretty sure that the deal will be finalized, and that no one else will bid for these assets and drive the price any higher than $10.50 per share.