(Reuters) - Trading in shares of Australia’s Investa Office Fund was halted on Friday pending an update on a Blackstone Group LP buyout offer for the Sydney-focused landlord, as rival suitor Oxford Properties Group waits in the wings.
Buyout giant Blackstone said on Thursday it was willing to raise its bid for Investa to A$3.3 billion ($2.4 billion) to beat Canadian real estate fund Oxford Properties’ rival offer.
The U.S.-listed firm sounded out its intention to raise its Investa bid to a distribution adjustable A$5.52 per share from A$5.3485, after Oxford Properties - a wholly owned entity of Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System - lodged a competing bid of A$5.50.
Blackstone wants Investa to reschedule an adjourned meeting to vote on its bid as quickly as possible and before Sept. 14.
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.
($1 = 1.3904 Australian dollars)
Reporting by Aaron Saldanha in Bengaluru; Editing by Paul Tait and Stephen Coates