Telecommunications firm KCOM has said it has agreed a £504m takeover offer from Humber Bidco, a subsidiary of UK pension scheme Universities Superannuation Scheme.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme Ltd (USSL) will acquire the Hull and East Riding internet provider, on the condition that it gains at least 75 per cent shareholder approval and that the deal is sanctioned by the High Court of Justice of England and Wales.

"The board believes that the offer of 97p per share represents a compelling opportunity for shareholders to realise an attractive cash value in respect of their shares and recognises the quality of KCOM's businesses and the strength of their future prospects,” said KCOM chairman Patrick De Smedt.

“For all these reasons, the board unanimously recommends that shareholders accept the offer."

USSL is the corporate trustee of one of the largest private sector pension funds in the UK with assets under management of £64 billion as at 31 March 2018. It has over 400,000 members across more than 350 universities and other higher education and associated institutions in the UK.

USSL, through its investment manager, USS Investment Management Ltd, is a long-term owner of assets with a track record of investing in UK infrastructure and infrastructure-like businesses.

"We believe that KCOM is a high-quality business that is well-placed to grow and thrive under private ownership and that is why we have made this compelling offer to shareholders at an attractive premium,” said Mike Powell, Head of the Private Markets Group at USSIM.

“With the right capital support and assistance, we believe that KCOM's management will be able to enhance the quality of its offering, delivering benefits for customers as well as sustainable, long-term returns.

"USSL's track record as a long-term and supportive shareholder with extensive experience in regulated sectors makes us an ideal partner for KCOM."