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Canada customer data firm Telus makes $830 million play for Australia’s Appen -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A Telus Communications sign in Toronto (Ontario, Canada) December 13, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Osorio

(Reuters) –Canadian data analysis software manufacturer Telus (NYSE) International announced Thursday that they had made a A$1.2billion ($830m) purchase offer to Appen Ltd in Australia. The announcement sent the company’s shares soaring.

The deal would, if it is closed, help to build Canada’s offer at a time corporate clients all over the globe are moving towards automating many of their services in order to cater to an online customer base.

Appen shareholders would have the opportunity to recover investment losses from February, when Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:), its star customer, revealed that Apple Inc (NASDAQ) privacy controls on smartphones and computers had reduced its advertising revenues.

Appen shares almost doubled since then. Telus’s A$9.50-per -share indicative offer was less than that of the Australian firm in February. Appen indicated it was in discussions with Telus about a possible improvement.

On Thursday, Appen’s shares jumped 29% to A$8.25 in morning trading, below the indicative offer price, as investors positioned themselves for an eventual a buyout — including from another company — while allowing for the possibility the talks would fall through.

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Citi analysts stated in a note that “While there is potential for significant synergies…we see Appen in a weaker negotiation position to extract an higher bid from Telus International.”

“We see potential for another suitor. Especially a rival to Telus.”

Telus was unable to be reached immediately for comments regarding the revised proposal.

Appen gave a brief trading update and said that it expects its first-half profit will be significantly lower than last year. However, it anticipates a rise in earnings in second half.

The company, which sells a range of automation software including programs to help companies like Facebook collate user data, earlier this year scrapped its outlook for the first time since going public — with an issue price of 50 cents in 2015.

($1 = 1.4096 Australian dollars)