Carlyle’s $3.9bn bid for CommScope wins approval

The Carlyle Group’s $3.9bn bid to privatise CommScope has met with near-unanimous approval from shareholders of the communications-infrastructure company.

The Carlyle Group has taken one step closer to acquiring communications-infrastructure and wireless-equipment specialist CommScope.

At a special meeting held 30 December, shareholders of the NYSE-listed company, which includes a number of hedge funds, approved the private equity giant’s plan to acquire outstanding shares of CommScope common stock for $31.50, representing a $3.9 billion all-cash buyout.

The deal was first announced in late October. The $31.50-per-share buyout offer accepted by shareholders represents a 36 percent premium over CommScope’s 22 October closing price of $23.12. The stock has proved a strong performer of late. CommScope closed its final trading session of 2010 at $31.22, showing a strong rebound from its recent low of $18.75 set on 31 August.

The Hickory, North Carolina-based firm focuses on broadband, microwave and wireless technologies, serving the cable and communications industries.

Hedge funds have been long-term stakeholders in the company. For instance, Lee Ainslie’s value-oriented hedge fund Maverick Capital owns 9.3 million shares of CommScope, representing a 9.8 percent stake in the company. And Soros Fund Management owns some 3 million shares, a 3.1 percent stake, based on filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Carlyle Group’s privatisation plan for CommScope is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011, pending final approval from regulators in the US and the China.