Three Firms in Australian Property Fund Takeover Fight

, The Asian Lawyer

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King & Wood Mallesons, Ashurst and Allens are the legal advisers in a multibillion-dollar bidding war for a commercial real estate fund controlled by Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd.

Sydney-based Dexus Property Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on Tuesday made a $2.7 billion offer for Commonwealth Property Office Fund, which as of June 30 owned and managed 25 Australian properties worth $3.5 billion.

The $1.16 per share offer was the consortium’s third bid so far. Dexus and CPPIB’s first offer of $1.05 a share, in October, was rejected by Commonwealth Property’s manager, Commonwealth Managed Investments Ltd. They raised their offer to $1.10 a share last month, but then Australian property trust GPT Group Ltd. outbid them with $1.14 a share.

Commonwealth Managed Investments Ltd., in a release to the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday, said it would consider the latest offer from Dexus and CPPIB, as well as that of GPT, and that an announcement would be made “in due course.”

King & Wood Mallesons Sydney partners David Friedlander and Susan Hilliard are acting for Dexus and CPPIB. Allens is representing GPT Group, although the lead partners were not available at press time.

Ashurst Melbourne partner Kylie Lane is advising Commonwealth Managed Investments Ltd., along with Sydney partners Michael Ryland and Barbara Phair.

Email: tbrennan@alm.com.

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