Sydney Airport gets $22.3 billion takeover bid

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) – Sydney Airport received a A$22.3 billion (S$22.3 billion) takeover offer from a group including IFM Investors, in one of the boldest bets since the pandemic on a recovery of global travel.

The consortium offered A$8.25 a share, Sydney Airport said in a statement Monday. It said it’s assessing the proposal, which is 42 per cent higher than Friday’s closing price of A$5.81. The stock traded close to A$9 in late 2019, before Covid-19 devastated aviation.

The suitors are seeking to capitalise on the slump in market value at Australia’s largest airport, which is also the country’s main overseas gateway, before global travel starts to pick up. Australia’s international border, which as been mostly closed since March last year, is expected to open in mid-2022 after the nation’s vaccination program is completed.

Sydney Airport said it’s considering “whether the proposal is reflective of the underlying value of the airport given its long-term remaining concession and the expected short-term impact of the pandemic.” Sydney Airport named Barrenjoey Capital Partners and UBS Group AG as financial advisers.

One of the conditions of the offer is that UniSuper Ltd., which owns about 15% of Sydney Airport, agrees to reinvest its equity interest for an equivalent stake in the consortium’s holding vehicle, according to the statement.

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