Australia's Tyro Payments offers suitor Potentia access to books after rejecting $A875 million bid

<html xmlns=""><head><title>UPDATE 2-Australia's Tyro Payments offers suitor Potentia access to books after rejecting $A875 million bid</title></head><body>

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By Scott Murdoch and Himanshi Akhand

Jan 27 (Reuters) -Australia's Tyro Payments TYR.AX has opened the door to re-engaging withPotentia Capital by offering it due diligence after the payments terminal firm rejectedthe private equity group'sA$875 million ($593 million) buyout proposal last month.

Tyro stock shot up nearly 6% to A$1.58 on Friday after Tyro said it would allow Potentia four weeks' access to its books.

The due diligence will enable Potentia "to develop a significantly improved proposal and confirm the necessary funding commitments attached to any possible future offer," Tyro said.

Tyro said offering due diligence would not necessarily result in a transaction. Potentia declined to comment.

Potentia first offered to buy Tyro for A$1.27 per share in September, then improved its offer to A$1.60 in December.

Tyro rejected both offers, saying they undervalued the company. Its decision to knock back the A$1.60 offer sent the stock tumbling 22%.

Australian tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brooke's Grok Ventures is the largest shareholder in Tyro and has backed Potentia's offer at $A1.60.

As part of the previous bid, Grok had said it would support Potentia unless a separate bid above $A1.85 emerged for Tyro.

Potentia offered Tyro shareholders in December all cash at $A1.60, cash and scrip, or shares in an unlisted private Potentia company that would own the payments firm.

Westpac Banking Corp WBC.AX, one of Australia's largest retail banks, withdrew its interest in Tyro in mid-December, leaving Potentia as the only confirmed interested buyer.

Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney and Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Gerry Doyle


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