SYDNEY, AAP – Sydney Airport has swiftly rejected a revised takeover bid by an expanded group of infrastructure investors, saying the new offer still undervalues the company.
The operator of Australia’s biggest airport on Monday said it had received a revised takeover proposal from the investors with an indicative price of $8.45 a share, or $22.80 billion.
“The Boards have unanimously concluded that the revised indicative proposal continues to undervalue Sydney Airport and is not in the best interests of securityholders,” it said in a statement to the ASX.
The Sydney Aviation Alliance group, which includes IFM Investors, Queensland super fund QSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners had in July approached the operator with an offer of $8.25 per stapled security.
At the time, Sydney Airport concluded that the timing of the offer, coming in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and ahead of Australia opening its borders at some future point, was “opportunistic”.
The airport is Australia’s major gateway to international travel and the country’s busiest domestic hub. It also owns on-ground retail assets and earns money from car parking and ground transport and other property.
Sydney Airport securities on Friday closed at $7.75 per security, giving it a market value of just below $21 billion.
The securities hit at a record high of $9.06 on December 6, 2019, before the pandemic took hold in Australia, but had since traded below $6 for much of the past year as COVID-19 concerns decimated travel demand.
On Monday, the airport operator said the government’s plans to progressively ease restrictions as the population reaches vaccination targets will result in the re-opening of travel.
“At the current indicative price of $8.45 per stapled security, the boards continue to view the revised indicative proposal as opportunistic in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said.
It has, however, left the door open to engage with the Sydney Aviation Alliance, which now includes Australia’s biggest superannuation fund Australian Super, if the consortium is prepared to lift its offer price.