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Carlyle, Pacific Equity sweeten bid for Australia's Link, eye listing PEXA

(Reuters) - Link Administration Holdings Ltd LNK.AX said on Monday private equity firms Carlyle Group CG.O and Pacific Equity Partners raised their takeover offer for the shareholder registry firm to A$2.87 billion ($2.04 billion), days after an earlier bid was turned down.

The new proposal also includes an option to acquire a stake in PEXA, an online property transaction firm that Link holds a stake in, and buy Link without it for A$3.80 per share.

Link dismissed the initial proposal last week saying it undervalued PEXA but said it would consider spinning-off the 44.2% stake it holds into a listed company.

The private equity duo in a separate statement said they will work with Link to list PEXA, in which Commonwealth Bank of Australia CBA.AX and Morgan Stanley MS.N also hold interests.

The latest offer by Carlyle and Pacific Equity values the New South Wales-based company at A$5.40 per share, nearly 4% higher than the earlier bid, and at a 10.2% premium to Link’s last close.

The proposal has received further backing from shareholders, with owners of more than 14.6% of Link supporting the consortium’s revised bid.

Reporting by Anushka Trivedi and A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang and Stephen Coates

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