SYDNEY May 30 Australian gas pipeline owner
Envestra Ltd backed a A$2.37 billion ($2.20 billion)
takeover bid from firms associated with Li Ka-shing on Friday,
reversing its earlier support for a lower bid from domestic
rival Australian Pipeline Ltd.
Envestra had for two months recommended a A$2.2 billion bid
from APA but companies in billionaire Li's Hong Kong-based
Cheung Kong Group (CKI) - Envestra's second-biggest shareholder
after APA - opposed the move before unexpectedly lobbing a
higher offer on May 9.
In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on
Friday, Envestra said its chairman and an independent board
committee now unanimously recommended the CKI offer and would
withdraw their support for the APA bid.
Envestra shares were in a trading halt at 00.31 GMT.
($1 = 1.0766 Australian Dollars)
(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Stephen Coates)