On 21 July, GO plc issued an announcement following recent media reports in The Times of Malta on the sales process for the shares in GO and the Voluntary Bid offer document published on 14 June 2016 by Tunisie Telecom (TT) through its wholly-owned subsidiary TT ML Limited.
In line with its obligations under the Listing Rules, GO made the following statements in relation to the newspaper articles:
- GO can confirm that throughout the sales process, which commenced with the approval by an Extraordinary General Meeting of GO on 29 October 2015, proper measures were taken to ensure that no conflicts of interest issues arose. The process was overseen by international advisors Houlihan Lokey / Panmure Gordon and by Mamo TCV Advocates. The GO board of directors has moreover obtained legal advice that any potential conflicts of interests have been satisfactorily addressed in accordance with Maltese law.
- The sales process comprised an extensive due diligence process leading to a number of binding offers being submitted by 29 April 2016. This process was managed and coordinated by Houlihan Lokey.
- The offer from TT was the best offer received by GO. This was unanimously approved by the GO Board and TT was chosen as the preferred bidder.
- TT published the Voluntary Bid offer document on 14 June 2016.
- The GO Board published its Statement of Opinion on 21 June 2016.
- TT has confirmed to the MFSA and to GO that TT had put in place robust measures to ensure arm’s length negotiations with Emirates International Telecommunications (EIT) with respect to the offer for its shareholding in GO.
- With reference to the newspaper reports about the acquisition by TT being raised in the Tunisian Parliament, TT has stated to the MFSA and GO that the parliamentary debate is a standard part of the democratic process in Tunisia.
- TT has further confirmed that the financial condition of TT is healthy and with an existing meaningful excess cash position and that the bid for GO is fully funded. TT also confirmed that it has a strong record of profitability and has consistently posted net profits in past years with significant dividends being paid out to its shareholders.
- TT has also confirmed to the MFSA and to GO that none of the issues mentioned in the newspaper articles render any of the statements made in the Voluntary Bid offer document published on 14 June 2016 inaccurate.