The largest shareholder of Sydney Airport has praised a sweetened offer from a consortium of bidders that’s seeking to take the asset private at a valuation of about A$23.6 billion ($17.4 billion).
John Pearce, chief investment officer of UniSuper Ltd.—a pension fund that owns 15.3% of Sydney Airport—said the latest offer by suitors led by IFM Investors is a “very, very rich valuation” relative to other airports across the world.
“The medium-term outlook for international travel is still very uncertain,” Pearce said in an interview Monday. “I think the board has done really well.”
In their latest move Monday, bidders increased their indicative offer by 3.6% to A$8.75 a share, prompting Sydney Airport to relent and open its books. The airport said it plans to accept the proposal if suitors make it a binding offer after due diligence.
UniSuper has indicated it would be interested in rolling its ownership into any privatization of the airport, but said it’s not been given any additional details of the consortium’s proposal.
The fund last month called an earlier sweetened offer of A$8.45 a share—which was rejected by the board of Sydney Airport—a “fair price” in light of the pandemic-induced slump in air travel.
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