UPDATE 1-Australia's Spotless rejects $700 mln Blackstone bid -sources

Sun May 8, 2011 10:58pm EDT

* Spotless shares up 12.5 percent on bid

* Spotless directors reject offer (Recasts with sources on Blackstone, adds shares)

SYDNEY/HONG KONG May 9 (Reuters) - U.S. private equity firm Blackstone has made a conditional A$657 million ($702 million) takeover bid for Australian services firm Spotless Group which has been rejected by the target, sources said Monday.

Spotless shares surged 12.5 percent after it said it had rejected an offer from an unnamed private equity firm.

Spotless said its directors had considered a A$2.50 per share offer which was rejected because "it does not reflect the fundamental value of the company in the context of a change of control".

Two sources familiar with the transaction told Reuters that Blackstone was the private equity firm involved.

At A$2.50 per share, the bid values Spotless at A$657 million. Spotless shares were trading 24.5 cents higher at A$2.20 at 0241 GMT.

A Blackstone spokesman declined to comment and a Spotless spokeswoman declined to provide more detail.

Spotless is a Melbourne-based facilities management firm which provides services such as maintenance and cleaning.

Blackstone last month agreed to buy Australian property firm Valad Property Group for A$207 million. ($1 = 0.936 Australian Dollars) (Reporting by Michael Smith and Stephen Aldred in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Megan Davies in New York; Editing by Ed Davies)