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18 Aug, Thursday
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Bull Trader USA

Dow Jones Newswires: Sydney Airport agrees to A$23.6 billion takeover bid from consortium

By Mike Cherney

SYDNEY–Sydney Airport said it agreed to a takeover proposal from a consortium of infrastructure investors that values the airport at 23.6 billion Australian dollars (US$17.4 billion), several months after the consortium first bid for the airport.

Shareholders still need to approve the deal, and the airport said it expects a shareholder vote to be held in the first quarter of next year. Various regulators will also need to sign off on the takeover.

The deal, if approved, will see investors get A$8.75 per share. The airport, which entered into a scheme implementation deed with the consortium, said its directors unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in favor of the deal, absent a superior proposal and subject to the report of an independent expert.

The consortium includes IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, AustralianSuper, QSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners. Under the terms of the deal, current shareholder UniSuper Ltd. won’t get a payout and will instead transfer its existing 15% interest in Sydney Airport for an equivalent interest in the holding structure of the consortium.

The airport said the offer price represents an uplift in equity value of about A$1.3 billion to the price of A$8.25/share, which was first offered by the consortium in July. It also said the current offer price represents a A$7.9 billion uplift to the closing price on the business day prior to the initial offer.

“Today’s announcement is the culmination of months of engagement between all parties,” said Sydney Airport Chairman David Gonski. “The Sydney Airport boards believe the outcome reflects appropriate long-term value for the airport.”

Passenger traffic at Sydney Airport, like many airports around the world, came to a near-halt during the coronavirus pandemic because of various travel restrictions. However, analysts expect passenger volumes to bounce back in the coming years as restrictions ease and vaccinations rise.

Write to Mike Cherney at mike.cherney@wsj.com

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