TalkTalk Telecom Slips To H1 Loss; To Be Bought By Tosca IOM In £1.11 Bln Cash Deal; Names New CFO

TalkTalk Telecom Group plc. (TALK.L) reported Thursday that its first-half loss attributable to the owners of the company was 4 million pounds, compared to last year’s profit of 1 million pounds.

Loss per share was 0.3 pence, compared to profit of 0.1 pence last year.

Headline attributable loss was 2 million pounds or 0.2 pence per share, compared to profit of 12 million pounds or 1 pence per share a year ago.

Statutory operating profit was 20 million pounds, down from 29 million pounds last year. Headline EBITDA was 122 million pounds, down 12.9 percent from the prior year.

Revenue declined 6.6 percent to 740 million pounds from prior year’s 792 million pounds. Headline revenue contracted by 6.2% year on year, primarily due to COVID-19 impacts.

Data usage has soared by over 40% since the start of the pandemic.

Looking ahead, the company said it is withdrawing the current full year EBITDA guidance due to the ongoing uncertainty created by COVID-19.

Separately, TalkTalk said it has reached agreement on the terms of a recommended acquisition of the company by Tosca IOM Limited., a company newly formed at the direction of Toscafund Asset Management LLP and Penta Capita LLP.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Scheme Shareholders will be entitled to receive 97 pence in cash for each Scheme Share. The deal values the entire issued ordinary share capital of TalkTalk at around 1.112 billion pounds.

The Offer Price represents a premium of approximately 16.4 percent to the Closing Price of 83.3 pence for each TalkTalk Share on October 7, being the last Business Day before the commencement of the Offer Period.

Subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the Conditions, it is expected that the Scheme will become Effective in the first quarter of 2021.

TalkTalk further announced the appointment of Phil Eayres as Chief Financial Officer, succeeding Kate Ferry.

Ferry has decided to step down from the Board of TalkTalk after three and a half years having lead the company.

Both these Board changes will be effective on the earlier of the day on which the Scheme of Arrangement in respect of acquisition becomes effective or March 31, 2021.

As part of his new role, Eayres will continue to lead strategy and transformation across the Group.

In London, TalkTalk shares are currently trading at 97.90 pence, up 1.7 percent.

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