Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE:BIP) and Cincinnati Bell (NYSE:CBB) have amended their merger agreement. Under the updated terms, Brookfield Infrastructure and its institutional partners have agreed to pay $13.50 per share in cash for each share of Cincinnati Bell's outstanding stock. The revised price is a 75% premium to Cincinnati Bell's closing share price the day before announcing a signed merger agreement with Brookfield last December. The updated transaction values the data infrastructure company at $2.797 billion, including debt.
The two companies have now amended their merger agreement two times since the initial signed contract in response to unsolicited proposals from a third-party infrastructure fund managed by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA). Cincinnati Bell announced the receipt of a non-binding acquisition proposal from MIRA on January 22 for $12 per share in cash. MIRA since made a binding offer at $12.50 a share, which Brookfield matched at the end of February. MIRA subsequently made another binding proposal, this time for $13.50 a share in cash, which Brookfield has now also matched.
Brookfield, which has been building out its data infrastructure segment in recent years, sees Cincinnati Bell as an important piece to that puzzle. In commenting on the transaction last year, CEO Sam Pollock stated: "Cincinnati Bell is a great addition to our data infrastructure portfolio, and we expect it will contribute strong utility-like cash flows with predictable growth."
With Cincinnati Bell accepting Brookfield's amended price, MIRA either needs to make another binding offer at a higher price or walk away from this bidding war.