APA accepts Hong Kong-based CKI's 'compelling' buyout deal

APA accepts Hong Kong-based CKI's 'compelling' buyout deal

Mon, 13/08/2018 - 09:31

APA Group is Australia's biggest player in gas transmission infrastructure. Photo: APA Group

Australia's biggest gas pipeline company APA Group has recommended its shareholders accept a $12.98 billion buyout offer from a consortium led by Hong Kong's CK Infrastructure, in the absence of a better offer.

The deal, if successful, would make CKI the major player in Australia's east coast gas pipeline network.

"The offer made by the CKI Consortium is compelling ... the board unanimously recommends that security holders vote in favour of the schemes," chairman Michael Fraser said.

APA said due diligence by all parties was complete and, if the deal goes through, APA shareholders would receive $11.00 cash per share, which was announced in June.

The offer is currently at an 11.8 per cent premium to APA's previous close.

CK Infrastructure, leading a consortium with CK Asset Holdings and Power Assets Holdings, said it was seeking regulatory approval for the deal.

To avoid competition concerns, CK Infrastructure has offered to divest all of APA's pipeline assets in Western Australia because it already owns the major Dampier-to-Bunbury gas pipeline in that state, acquired in its takeover of DUET.

The competition watchdog said in June, when the deal was first proposed, it would take about 12 weeks to review the deal after receiving more information.

APA said the deal would not affect APA’s final distribution for the 2018 financial year, expected to be 24.0 cents per stapled security.