APA lobbies $10b in bidding war for AusNet

The Australian pipeline giant lobbied a $9.96 billion bid in an attempt to secure AusNet Services over rival bidder Brookfield.

APA Group has confirmed that it has put forward a non-binding proposal to AusNet Services to acquire all the shares in the company.

The proposal would bring together two businesses and create a listed flagship Australian group with the scale and capability to accelerate the $20 billion growth in electricity transmission infrastructure needed to support the decarbonisation of Australia’s economy.

APA stated it approached AusNet on 1 September with a confidential indicative proposal to acquire all of its issued shares by way of scheme of arrangement for a consideration of $2.32 per share.

APA and AusNet had engaged in discussions about the original proposal and APA had made AusNet aware on Thursday 16 September  that it intended to make a revised proposal.

AusNet has responded that APA would have to wait at least eight weeks while rival bidder Brookfield completes a period of exclusive due diligence awarded on Monday after an offer of $2.50 per share.

As a result, AusNet has entered into a confidentiality deed with Brookfield to conduct exclusive due diligence.

APA advised it is disappointed that AusNet has purported to enter into a period of exclusivity with Brookfield for effectively eight weeks, notwithstanding AusNet’s knowledge of the pending revised, and potentially superior proposal, from APA.

AusNet said it would consider APA’s revised indicative proposal and has the ability to engage with APA following completion of the exclusivity period.

APA managing director and CEO Rob Wheals said unlike many OECD countries, Australia lacks a locally owned and controlled energy utility with capabilities across critical energy infrastructure and with the size and strength to partner with government and the community to deliver the energy transition.

“The combination of APA and AusNet is a unique opportunity to deliver that vision and retain a proudly Australian controlled combined group listed on the ASX,” he said.

For more information visit the APA website.

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