Challenger Infrastructure Fund has appointed UBS to advise on a A$1.2bn (£560m) speculative takeover bid from Vincent Tchenguiz’s Consensus Business Group.
Challenger Infrastructure told the Australian Securities Exchange that it had met to discuss the non-binding offer from Arkmile, a subsidiary of Consensus, to buy 100% of its shares.
It said it had advised UBS as its financial adviser and Corrs Chambers Westgarth as its legal adviser.
Challenger Infrastructure revealed on Tuesday that Arkmile had made a takeover offer of A$3.50 a share, valuing the company at A$1.2bn (£560m). This morning Challenger Infrastructure again advised shareholders to take no action until it had received more information from Arkmile and formed a view of the offer.
Shares in the fund surged 19% to $2.98 on Monday, but stopped short of the bid level, indicating investor uncertainty about the bid’s likely success. Shares fell away 4% on Wednesday, but rose 1% to finish at A$2.81 today. The bid represents a 14% discount to the company’s net asset value of A$4.05.
Challenger Infrastructure’s assets include an 80% stake in UK gas transporter Inexus and a 23% stake in Southern water.
Consensus has been increasingly active in the infrastructure sector in the last two years, primarily through buying environmental technology assets and buying green energy businesses.