A woman walks through the central business district of Sydney on September 5, 2018. - Australia's buoyant economy posted strong growth in the second quarter of the year on the back of increasing exports, consumer and government spending, official data showed on September 5. (Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)
Office sector in Sydney is tightening, spurring demand. AFP

Blackstone peeved as Canada's Oxford Properties tops bid for Australian office owner Investa



Canadian landlord Oxford Properties Group lobbed a last-minute A$3.3 billion ($2.4 billion) bid for Australian office owner Investa Office Fund on Tuesday, edging out an earlier offer from US private equity firm Blackstone Group.

The bid landed two days before a scheduled shareholder meeting to approve Blackstone's takeover that has Investa's blessings. It caps years of suitors circling Sydney-listed Investa as tight supply and strong growth lift rents in Australia, especially in Sydney where Investa's towers are concentrated.

Oxford's offer, coming in A$90 million (Dh237.4m) over Blackstone's, was also slightly above the book value of the 20-property portfolio, which, besides Sydney, includes towers in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

"What that is telling us is that the bidders see greater value going forward than what they're paying for the stock at the moment," said Winston Sammut, managing director of Folkestone Maxim Asset Management, adding he rued selling out of Investa recently.

"There's still a window of opportunity, if the economy keeps improving and employment continues to be strong, that demand for space will continue to be strong and that because of short supply, rents have to go up," he said.

Oxford, which already owns 10 per cent of Investa, offered A$5.50 per share, a 3.4 per cent premium to the last traded price for Investa shares, compared with Blackstone's offer of A$5.3485.

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Directors of Investa's manager, Investa Listed Funds Management, advised shareholders they still recommend the Blackstone proposal.

However, Investa said on Wednesday it was adjourning the planned shareholder meeting for today that was set to vote on Blackstone's offer while it weighs the attractiveness of Oxford's bid.

Blackstone, in a letter to Investa, said the Oxford offer was "not a superior proposal" and that it reserved its rights to terminate its bid and claim a break fee if the meeting were to be adjourned and Oxford's offer deemed better.

"The alternative proposal is subject to completion of full due diligence ... [and] there is a lack of funding certainty for the transaction," said the letter, which was released to media.

A Sydney-based spokeswoman for Oxford Properties Group, the real estate investment arm of Canadian pension fund Omers, was not immediately available for comment.

A spokeswoman for Blackstone, which already sweetened its offer last month, declined to comment. Oxford had no immediate comment.

The bidding war comes as the Australia's commercial property sector defies a softening in home values. With overall unemployment sitting at a six-year low and city downtown capacity barely growing, demand is outstripping supply.

Betting that would lift rents, Investa shareholders rejected an A$2.5 billion takeover from rival Dexus at A$4.11 per share two years ago.

Since then, office space in Sydney in particular has tightened dramatically, with commercial-to-residential conversions and a railway building project cutting space available at the same time as tenants have looked to expand.

British-based consultant Oxford Economics forecasts vacancy rates for Sydney offices to hit an all-time low of 3 per cent by the end of 2019.

Match info:

Manchester City 2
Sterling (8'), Walker (52')

Newcastle United 1
Yedlin (30')

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Kill Bill Volume 1

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Uma Thurman, David Carradine and Michael Madsen
Rating: 4.5/5

Asian Cup 2019

Quarter-final

UAE v Australia, Friday, 8pm, Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain

How it works

A $10 hand-powered LED light and battery bank

Device is operated by hand cranking it at any time during the day or night 

The charge is stored inside a battery

The ratio is that for every minute you crank, it provides 10 minutes light on the brightest mode

A full hand wound charge is of 16.5minutes 

This gives 1.1 hours of light on high mode or 2.5 hours of light on low mode

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The larger version costs between $18-20 and generates more than 15 hours of light with a 45-minute charge

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What is safeguarding?

“Safeguarding, not just in sport, but in all walks of life, is making sure that policies are put in place that make sure your child is safe; when they attend a football club, a tennis club, that there are welfare officers at clubs who are qualified to a standard to make sure your child is safe in that environment,” Derek Bell explains.

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July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

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1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

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Company name: Sav
Started: 2021
Founder: Purvi Munot
Based: Dubai
Industry: FinTech
Funding: $750,000 as of March 2023
Investors: Angel investors

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The protective shell is covered in solar panels to make use of light and produce energy. This will drastically reduce energy loss.

More than 80 per cent of the energy consumed by the French pavilion will be produced by the sun.

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Beyond its use for the expo, the pavilion will be easy to dismantle and reuse the material.

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 From architects to sound technicians and construction companies, a group of experts from 10 companies have created the pavilion.

Work will begin in May; the first stone will be laid in Dubai in the second quarter of 2019. 

Construction of the pavilion will take 17 months from May 2019 to September 2020.

The 12

England

Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur

Italy
AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus

Spain
Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid

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The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888


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