June 12, 2018 / 11:20 PM / a year ago

Blackstone in agreement to acquire Australia's Investa Office Fund for $2.3 billion

FILE PHOTO: The logo for Australia's Investa Office Fund (IOF), a real estate investment trust, adorns the front of their office building in central Sydney, Australia, May 28, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

(Reuters) - Australia’s Investa Office Fund (IOF) IOF.AX and Blackstone Group (BX.N) on Wednesday entered into a scheme implementation agreement through which the U.S. private equity giant would acquire real estate investment trust for A$3.08 billion ($2.3 billion).

The directors of IOF manager Investa Listed Funds Management said they unanimously recommend the offer, which equates to a distribution adjusted price of A$5.15 per unit.

Blackstone had made an unsolicited and non-binding offer last month, two years after IOF shareholders rejected a A$2.5 billion bid from Australian firm DEXUS (DXS.AX).

Shares of the Australian firm had surged more than 10 percent after the offer announcement.

Blackstone’s move is a bet on the future of commercial property across Australia’s east coast, where analysts expect strong demand to support yields even if interest rates rise from their current historic lows.

In May, Blackstone struck a NZ$635 million ($439.4 million) deal to buy an office portfolio in Auckland, New Zealand, which was co-held by Goodman Property Trust (GMT.NZ) and Singaporean investor GIC.

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler and Stephen Coates

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