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Sydney Airport rejects takeover bid, wants higher off

sydney airport

Sydney Airport Holdings rejected a takeover offer of US$16.81 billion from a consortium of infrastructure investors, saying the offer undervalued the airport operator, adding it was open to a higher bid from the group.

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The new offer valued Sydney Airport at US$6.14 per share, 2.4 percent higher than the previous offer of US$5.89 a share, which was given by a consortium, dubbed ‘Sydney Aviation Alliance’, led by IFM Investors and Q Super, last month.

From the beginning of negotiations in July, the sale of the airport has been contingent on it granting due diligence and recommending it to shareholders, according to a Reuters report.

It is also contingent on UniSuper, Sydney Airport’s largest shareholder with a 15 percent stake, agreeing to reinvest its equity interest for an equivalent equity holding in the consortium’s vehicle.

Sydney Airport is Australia’s largest and only publicly listed airport. The airport said total passenger traffic in June was down 70.9 percent to 989,000 passengers, compared to June 2019. Traffic levels were impacted by the stay-at-home orders issued by the NSW government on 25th June 2021, said the airport in a statement, in response to the
Covid-19 pandemic.

Sydney Airport is currently the only major airport hub in the city of Sydney, with Western Sydney Airport due to open in 2026.

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IFM currently holds stakes in major airports in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, while QSuper owns a stake in Britain’s Heathrow Airport.