Sydney: A consortium led by Australia’s top listed property firm Goodman Group made a revised bid for ING Industrial Fund and its offer was expected to be recommended to shareholders, the firms said, adding to the surge of year-end deals in the country.
The Goodman Group made a conditional offer for IIF in October, valuing the target at $1.4 billion and began due diligence in mid November.
Press reports suggested ING sought a higher price but the firms did not reveal details of the revision and Goodman promised to make a further statement “shortly”.
The deal would add to around $7.2 billion worth of M&A transactions announced in Australia so far this week, including a $3.9 billion offer by Rio Tinto for Riversdale, as firms rushed to finalise deals before the year ended.
Goodman’s bid comes as pressure mounts on ING Group from regulators to offload assets to accelerate the repayment of a €10 billion rescue loan from the Dutch government at the peak of the European banking crisis.
The group has hired advisers to review its options with ING Real Estate Asset Management, the world’s largest business of its type.
ING Management Ltd, which owns ING Real Estate Investment Management Australia, IIF’s fund manager, will recommend the offer to unit holders, the firms said. Goodman’s consortium includes three unnamed pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, it said earlier.
ING has five listed real estate investment trusts in Australia, including IIF and ING Office Fund .
Shares in IIF were 1.9% lower before being placed on trading halt pending the deal. The stock has jumped 10.9% since the initial offer was made in late October.
Shares in Goodman, which has operations in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe, were 0.8% higher at A$0.645.
Macquarie Capital Advisers is advising the Goodman-led consortium while Goldman Sachs and UBS AG are advisers to IIF.