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November 8, 2021

Sydney Airport agrees to Sydney Aviation Alliance’s $17.4bn buyout bid

The airport board has recommended security holders vote in favour of the Sydney Aviation Alliance deal if there is no better proposal.

Australia-based Sydney Airport Holdings has accepted the $17.4bn (A$23.6bn) takeover offer from the Sydney Aviation Alliance (SAA) consortium.

The SAA consortium includes IFM Investors, QSuper and AustralianSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners.

According to the agreement, Sydney Airport Security holders will receive $6.47 (A$8.75) in cash per share.

In July 2021, the SAA consortium offered a conditional, unsolicited, non-binding and indicative proposal to acquire 100% of stapled securities in Sydney Airport (SYD) at A$8.25 a share but was rejected by the airport.

Later in August, Sydney Airport received a revised proposal from the consortium to purchase the stapled securities at $6.25 (A$8.45) apiece. The company also refused this offer, saying that the bid undervalued the asset.

The following month, the SAA consortium increased its takeover offer and agreed to pay (A$8.75) per stapled security, which has now been accepted by Sydney Airport Holdings.

The latest deal will also see UniSuper transferring its 15.01% stake in Sydney Airport ‘for an equivalent interest in the holding structure of the consortium’.

Sydney Airport chairman David Gonski said: “Today’s announcement is the culmination of months of engagement between all parties.

“The Sydney Airport Boards believe the outcome reflects appropriate long-term value for the airport, and unanimously recommend the proposal to security holders, subject to customary conditions such as independent expert approval and no superior proposal.”

The Sydney airport board has recommended that security holders support the deal if there is no superior offer.

The completion of the deal is subject to an independent expert report and approval from 75% of the airport operator’s shareholders, foreign investment review board and competition authorities.

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