Sydney Airport (SYD) in Australia has rejected the $16.5bn (A$22.26bn) buyout bid from a consortium of investors, as it seeks higher bids for the asset.

Earlier this month, the consortium comprising IFM, QSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners offered to acquire 100% of the stapled securities in Sydney Airport at an indicative price of A$8.25 per share.

IFM already holds a stake in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide while QSuper has a stake in Britain’s Heathrow Airport (LHR). Global Infrastructure is said to have invested in the UK’s Gatwick (LGW) and London City (LCY) airports.

In a meeting, the Sydney Airport board of directors concluded that the indicative proposal by the consortium is not in the best interests of security holders.

The board also said that the proposal was made by the consortium at a time when the global pandemic hit the aviation industry and Sydney Airport’s security price.

It anticipates that the airport would be in a better position after mass Covid-19 vaccination that would facilitate the resumption of international travel.

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However, the investor consortium believes that the rejection of the bid by the Sydney Airport Board could be an attempt to push the consortium to raise its offer price.

The board also said that the offer made by the consortium was below the lower than the highs of near A$9 ($6.7) Sydney Airport reached before the pandemic.

Investors justified their proposal saying that their bid will be equivalent to $8.99 a share after it was adjusted for the new shares issued and proceeds raised in last year’s equity raising.

Sydney Airport is one of the largest airports in the country and serves as a gateway to international travel.