UK network operator ‘Thus’ has made an offer for UK-based Chelys, the owners of Energis, ahead of one from rival Cable and Wireless.

Thus proposes to acquire Chelys for £800 million - £600 million of which would be in cash or assumed liabilities, and £200 million in ‘Thus’ shares.

The ‘Thus’ board believes that joining forces with Energis would be attractive for a number of reasons. Not in the least because, as Thus's network is already 21CN compatible, a large part of Energis's anticipated network upgrade would no longer be necessary and ongoing maintenance would be greatly reduced.

Significant network savings would also be achievable, for example through rationalising overlapping points of presence, reduced interconnect costs from more 'on network' traffic and deeper reach, as well as the reduction of duplicated back office and engineering systems and sites.

If the deal were to go through, the combined business would be the largest operator focusing purely on business communications services in the UK.