Finance Finance News GPT joins office takeover battle

GPT joins office takeover battle

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Property group GPT is hoping to own half of eastern Australia’s prime office space with a $3 billion takeover bid for Commonwealth Property Office Fund (CPA).

GPT has trumped a rival offer from Dexus Property Group and a Canadian pension fund, and its bid comes six months after it dropped a $3 billion bid for Australand’s commercial and industrial property assets.

But GPT chief executive Michael Cameron dismissed a suggestion there could be a bidding war for CPA to create Australia’s largest holder of prime office real estate.

“I’m not sure that’s relevant,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“This is a compelling offer.

“It does put us into a strong position with $10 billion worth of office assets – it would see us in a situation where over half of the prime assets on the eastern seaboard, we would have an interest in.”

GPT is offering $1.272 for every CPA share, which is higher than the target’s Monday closing price of $1.205 on the share market.

Five weeks ago, Dexus and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board proposed a $2.3 billion takeover of CPA to make it an unlisted company.

The two groups offered CPA shareholders $1.15 a share, in a bid to acquire CPA’s $3.7 billion office portfolio.

The Commonwealth Managed Investments board, which oversees CPA, said it was considering the GPT proposal.

GPT shares were down 5.5 cents, or 1.5 per cent, to $3.625 at 1210 AEDT, while CPA had added five cents, or 4.15 per cent, to $1.255.

Dexus had shed 2.5 cents, or 2.3 per cent, to $1.065.