Oxford Properties Group has outsmarted its rival Blackstone Group, by placing a higher bid for Investa Office Fund (ASX: IOF). The Canadian company has quoted $3.4 Bn, an extra $48 Mn from the previous bid implying $5.60 per share. The latest bid is 10 cents higher than its own bid and 8 cents better than that offered by the Blackstone Group.
Oxford, the real estate division of the Canadian pension fund OMERS and the U.S. private equity giant have locked horns to acquire the controlling stake in Investa funds for weeks now. Oxford Properties pushed its latest bid just three days before IOF investors had to vote on the proposal set forth by Blackstone group. Apart from sweetening the deal, the Canadian Group has parted with several other key conditions from the latest proposal in order to allure the IOF board into conversation and postpone the shareholders meeting on Monday. Under the new proposal, Oxford has got the board approval from OMERS for its bid and did away with a financing condition that was the part of the first proposal.
In a statement, Oxford stated that OMERS has enough equity available to fund the proposal entirely using its own fund other than any third-party financing that might come at the later stage but before the completion. The Canadian investor stated that the implementation agreement could be on the table within four weeks of starting due diligence. However, this time would be crucial for the shareholders who would need to weigh both the proposals and compare Oxford’s $5.60 bid with that of $5.52 offered by Blackstone.
Both the companies are now offering considerably higher than IOF’s tangible asset backing at $5.47 and over the initial price offered by Blackstone at $5.05.
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