APA Bids $7.2 Billion for AusNet to Top Brookfield Proposal

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(Bloomberg) — Natural gas infrastructure company APA Group bid about $7.2 billion to acquire AusNet Services Ltd., one day after Brookfield Asset Management Inc. said it would enter takeover talks.

Sydney-based APA made a non-binding indicative proposal of A$2.60 ($1.89) a share, the company said Tuesday in a statement. AusNet, which owns Australian power transmission and distribution assets, on Monday said it received an offer of A$2.50 a share from Brookfield and said it would negotiate on an exclusive basis.

“APA notes the announcement from AusNet yesterday of an indicative, non-binding and highly conditional proposal made by Brookfield Asset Management,” APA said. “APA is disappointed that AusNet has purported to enter into a period of exclusivity with Brookfield for effectively eight weeks.”

The takeover battle follows a spate of M&A activity for infrastructure assets in Australia, including Sydney toll roads, energy company Spark Infrastructure Group and Sydney Airport. 

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