Blackstone in $2.4 bn bid for Australia office giant

Sydney (AFP) –


US private equity giant Blackstone has made a Aus$3.1 billion (US$2.4 billion) bid for office property giant Investa, the Australian-listed firm said Monday.

Investa Office Fund -- which has Aus$4.0 billion of Australian assets under management -- said the Aus$5.25 per share bid was unsolicited.

The company's board is set to "unanimously recommend" the proposal, saying it presented shareholders "with an opportunity to realise their investment... for significant value and certainty".

The bid came just over a month after Blackstone made a lower, confidential offer, Investa added.

Shares in Investa surged 10.26 percent to Aus$5.10 in intra-day trading in Sydney on Monday.

The move into the Australian real estate market follows Blackstone's purchase of an Auckland office precinct in New Zealand for NZ$635 million (US$441 million) two weeks ago.