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Sydney Airport opens books after new offer

·1-min read

Sydney Airport Corporation is closer to a decision on a takeover offer and will let an investor group examine its books after a higher bid.

A group of superannuation companies has made a third bid for the airport of $8.75 per stapled security ($23.6 billion), up from a previous bid of $8.45 bid per security.

Sydney Airport said it would allow the consortium to conduct due diligence on its financials in order to make a binding offer. The due diligence is expected to take about four weeks.

The airport board said it intends to unanimously recommend security holders vote for the proposal, should a binding offer be made.

The corporation will hire a third-party expert to help assess the merits of the bid.

The Sydney Aviation Alliance consortium, which includes AustralianSuper, IFM Investors, Queensland super fund QSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners, made its first offer in July at $8.25 per stapled security.

The airport board at the time called the offers "opportunistic", given the pandemic had devalued shares.

In August, Sydney Airport declared a first-half loss of $97.4 million due to coronavirus lockdowns.

The second-half of its financial year has not started any better. Passenger numbers for July dived by more than 97 per cent on the same month last year to 102,000 people.

The airport also faces competition from Western Sydney Airport, due to open in 2026.

Securities in Sydney Airport on the ASX were trading higher by 4.44 per cent to $8.35 at 1451 AEST.

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