Sydney Airport enticed by revised takeover offer

September 13, 2021
Photo: Sydney Airport

A drawn-out takeover bid for Australia’s biggest airport may be reaching a conclusion after the consortium seeking to buy Sydney Airport upped its offer to $A8.75 a share.

The airport announced yesterday it would open its books so the alliance of IFM investors, QSuper, AustralianSuper and Global Infrastructure partners could perform due diligence.

The indicative, conditional land non-binding offer was the third attempt by the consortium to bid for the airport — the previous offers of $A8.25 and $A8.45 a share were rebuffed — with the latest offer worth almost $A24 billion.

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The airport said in a statement that the intention was to unanimously recommend that the $8.75 per share bid be accepted as in the best interests of shareholders.

“The boards note that there is no certainty that the Further Revised Indicative Proposal, or provision of access to the consortium to conduct due diligence, will result in a binding offer for Sydney Airport,’’ the statement said.

The airport expects due diligence to take about four weeks.

The warmer reception comes after the consortium’s previous proposal in August received short shrift.

The airport said at the time its boards had carefully considered the proposal but concluded it continued to undervalue the airport and was not in the best interest of security holders.

That stance came after a similarly blunt rejection in July of its previous bid of $A8.25 per share.

The airport pointed in its August statement to the rapid acceleration in Australian vaccination rates and government plans to progressively ease restrictions.

“Sydney Airport remains strongly positioned, has strengthened its balance sheet and tightly managed costs to maintain flexibility to respond to a range of recovery scenarios and to pursue sensible growth opportunities as the recovery unfolds,’’ it said.

“At the current indicative price of $A8.45 per stapled security, the Boards continue to view the revised indicative proposal as opportunistic in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”