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Australia's Link soars nearly 30% on Carlyle, Pacific Equity's $2 billion takeover offer

(Reuters) - Link Administration Holdings Ltd LNK.AX said on Monday it received a conditional A$2.76 billion ($2 billion) takeover offer from private equity firms Carlyle Group CG.O and Pacific Equity Partners, sending its shares up nearly 30%.

The non-binding offer of A$5.20 a share is at a 30.3% premium to the shareholder registry firm's last closing price and has the support of Perpetual Ltd PPT.AX, which owns 9.7% of the company.

Link shares jumped as much as 27.8% to A$5.1, slightly under the private equity duo’s offer, their highest since the end of February.

Pacific Equity Partners previously owned Link before it floated on the Australian stock exchange at A$6.37 a share in 2015.

Link, which also provides services to fund managers and trading firms, has lost nearly a third of its value since the start of the year and swung to a full-year loss in August, as the COVID-19 pandemic wrecked havoc across markets.

The company said it would consider the offer but asked shareholders not to take any action yet.

An external communications firm representing Carlyle and Pacific Equity Partners declined to comment.

Macquarie Capital and UBS have been appointed by Link as its financial advisers.

($1 = 1.3833 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Stephen Coates

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