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Blackstone bids US$2.38b for office tower fund Investa

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Blackstone Group LP offered A$3.14 billion (S$3.19 billion) for Investa Office Fund in an attempt to land one of Australia's most pursued property companies and dozens of office buildings across the country

[SYDNEY] Blackstone Group LP offered A$3.14 billion (S$3.19 billion) for Investa Office Fund in an attempt to land one of Australia's most pursued property companies and dozens of office buildings across the country.

The New York-based buyout company offered A$5.25 in cash for each share of the real estate investment trust, 13 per cent more than Friday's closing price, Investa said in a statement Monday. Investa's directors plan to unanimously recommend investors vote for the deal unless there's a better offer.

Investa shares jumped 11 per cent to A$5.13 as of 11:41 a.m. in Sydney.

The acquisition would deliver Blackstone, which has US$450 billion in assets under management, some 37 properties stretching from Perth on Australia's west coast to Sydney and the eastern seaboard, according to Investa's website.

Investa has attracted suitors since at least 2015, when Dexus Property Group proposed a deal valued at about A$2.5 billion, a tie-up that was subsequently rejected by unit-holders. Cromwell Property Group made separate approaches in 2016 and 2017.

According to Investa's statement, Blackstone made an initial offer of A$5.05 per share on April 5, then sweetened the bid this month after "extensive discussions and negotiations." The private equity firm has already started due diligence, Investa said.

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