September 14, 2018 / 12:13 AM / 2 months ago

Australia's Investa postpones meeting on Blackstone bid after rival ups offer

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/File Photo

(Reuters) - Australian office owner Investa Office Fund (IOF.AX) said on Friday it would postpone a shareholder meeting regarding a takeover offer from private equity firm Blackstone (BX.N) after receiving a rival bid.

The company said it intended to seek judicial advice to adjourn the meeting set for Sept. 17, where it intended to solicit shareholders over a takeover offer from Blackstone. A new date for the meeting was yet to be determined.

Investa also said it would engage with Oxford Properties Group over a possible binding proposal after the Canadian landlord sweetened its bid for the company on Thursday.

Oxford had offered A$5.60 for each share in Investa, A$0.10 higher than Blackstone’s offer and valuing Investa at A$3.35 billion.

Blackstone had made a public A$3.08 billion play for Investa in May, and had increased its offer in August.

Then Oxford came in with a A$5.50 a share offer earlier this month. Trumping Oxford’s first approach last week by 2 cents, Blackstone suggested its A$5.52 bid would be “best and final, in the absence of a superior proposal”.

Under Australian takeover rules, bidders must wait four months to re-approach a target after declaring an offer unequivocally final.

A Blackstone spokeswoman in Sydney declined to comment.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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