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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.

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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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