Australia's Investa sets Sep 17 to decide on Blackstone bid

Australia's Investa sets Sep 17 to decide on Blackstone bid

FILE PHOTO: The logo for Australia's Investa Office Fund (IOF), a real estate investment trust
FILE PHOTO: The logo for Australia's Investa Office Fund (IOF), a real estate investment trust, adorns the front of their office building in central Sydney, Australia, May 28, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray/File Photo

REUTERS: Investa Office Fund said it has set Sep 17 as the date for its shareholders to vote on Blackstone Group's sweetened AU$3.3 billion (US$2.4 billion) bid.

Blackstone Group declared its AU$5.52 per share offer as final. The US private equity giant increased its offer for the Sydney-focused landlord last week in response to a rival bid from Canada's Oxford Properties Group.

Oxford, which already owns 10 per cent of Investa, offered AU$5.50 per share compared with the US buyout giant's previous bid of AU$5.3485 per share.

A Sydney-based spokeswoman for Oxford Properties Group, the real estate investment arm of Canadian pension fund OMERS, declined to comment.

Australia's commercial property sector has defied a softening in home values. With overall unemployment sitting at a six-year low, economic growth surging and city downtown capacity barely growing, demand is outstripping supply.

The face-off between the North American firms is indicative of a reach for yield by global investors amid strong Australian commercial rents, especially in Sydney, where downtown capacity is tight.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Source: Reuters/na

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