SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s biggest and busiest airport has received a surprise takeover offer after its market value was dented in the past year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

A consortium of infrastructure investors, called the Sydney Aviation Alliance, have offered $22.3 billion, or $8.25 cash for each stapled security.

“The indicative proposal has been made during a global pandemic which has deeply affected the aviation industry and the Sydney Airport security price,” the airport said.

“The indicative price is below where Sydney Airport’s security price traded before the pandemic.”

Sydney Airport ended trading on Friday with a market capitalisation north of $15 billion, at $5.81 per security.

The board of Sydney Airport, representing shareholders and unitholders, is examining the unsolicited offer.

“There is no certainty that the proposal will result in a transaction,” the board members said in a statement on Monday.

The Alliance comprises trustees for Queensland super group QSuper, IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, IFM Global Infrastructure Fund and US-based Global Infrastructure Management.

The Alliance said its offer would ensure ongoing Australian ownership of the airport.

Share were at a record high of $9.06 on December 6, 2019.

They have traded for less than $6 for much of this year and last year, as COVID-19 decimated travel demand.

The top shareholder is non-profit superannuation provider UniSuper, which has 15 per cent of shares.

The infrastructure investors have made their offer on condition that UniSuper reinvest in the airport, rather than just take the cash offered.

Shares on Monday were higher by 31.41 per cent to $7.63 at 1322 AEST.