Sydney Airport backs $23.6 billion takeover offer

Sydney Airport backs $23.6 billion takeover offer

Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD) has today entered into a scheme implementation deed with a consortium of buyers looking to take over the company for $23.6 billion after the deal received the blessing from the airport’s boards.

The proposal now just requires approval from shareholders to take flight, but with a unanimous recommendation from the company’s boards that the scheme is in the best interests of SYD securityholders the bid is well and truly ready for takeoff.

Under the proposed takeover, shareholders will receive $8.75 cash per stapled security, valuing Sydney Airport’s equity at approximately $23.6 billion - an uplift of approximately $1.3 billion to the price initially offered by the consortium in July 2021.

If the deal ultimately goes through, SYD will be 100 per cent owned by the Sydney Aviation Alliance - a consortium that comprises various investment and infrastructure funds affiliated with or managed by IFM Australian Infrastructure Fund, IFM Global Infrastructure Fund, AustralianSuper, QSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners.

Today, Sydney Airport also confirmed the deal is conditional on UniSuper continuing to hold a 15.01 per cent interest in the company.

"UniSuper has confirmed that, and has entered into an agreement with Sydney Airport Limited to the effect that, UniSuper will not dispose of such 15.01 per cent interest and will vote such securities in favour of the Schemes," SYD said.

Sydney Airport chairman David Gonski said today’s announcement was the culmination of months of engagement between all parties.

"The Sydney Airport Boards believe the outcome reflects appropriate long-term value for the airport, and unanimously recommend the proposal to securityholders, subject to customary conditions such as independent expert approval and no superior proposal.”

Today’s board recommendation comes after Sydney Aviation Alliance put in three progressively more expensive bids to acquire Sydney Airport over the course of the last few months after the first two were rejected on the grounds they undervalued the company.

It also comes after SYD granted due diligence to the consortium in September, giving Sydney Aviation Alliance a look in at the company’s books.

Shares in SYD are up 2.92 per cent to $8.47 per share at 3.45pm AEST, 28 cents below the price offered by the consortium.

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