APA wins over Brookfield’s $ 7 billion AusNet offer in M&A boost

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(Bloomberg) – Natural gas infrastructure firm APA Group has beaten Brookfield Asset Management Inc.’s $ 7 billion bid on AusNet Services Ltd. as Australia witnesses an unprecedented volume of mergers and acquisitions.

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Sydney-based APA has made a non-binding indicative proposal of Australian dollars 2.60 ($ 1.89) per share, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. AusNet, which owns Australian electricity transmission and distribution assets, said on Monday it had received an offer of AUS $ 2.50 per share from Brookfield and said it would trade on an exclusive basis.

“APA takes note of AusNet’s announcement yesterday of an indicative, non-binding and highly conditional proposal made by Brookfield Asset Management,” APA said. “APA is disappointed that AusNet has claimed to be entering an exclusivity period with Brookfield for effectively eight weeks.”

Brookfield and APA Group enter bidding war for Ausnet: mergers and acquisitions overview

Australia is set to experience its biggest quarter for deals on record, after a wave of M&A activity for infrastructure assets including Sydney Toll Roads, energy firm Spark Infrastructure Group and Sydney Airport. There have been nearly A $ 88 billion in M&A deals involving Australian companies since early July, the highest total in any quarter going to at least 1998, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

APA said in the statement that it approached AusNet on September 1 with a proposal of AU $ 2.32 per share, and that it discussed the initial proposal with State Grid Corp. of China, the second largest holder of AusNet. APA said it alerted AusNet on September 16 that it intended to make a revised offer.

Trading on AusNet was halted on Tuesday after a record rise of 19% on Monday. The APA fell to 4.2%.

(Updates with the share price in the last paragraph.)

More stories like this are available at bloomberg.com

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