Airport suitors respond to spurned bid

·1-min read

The investors behind a spurned takeover of Sydney Airport say they are surprised and disappointed by the decision and claim the airport has challenging times ahead.

The Australian-led consortium of infrastructure investors took issue with the airport corporation's decision on Thursday to reject a $22.3 billion takeover offer.

Airport leaders said the offer of $8.25 per stapled security was below the price traded before the pandemic struck last year.

Yet the consortium, called the Sydney Aviation Alliance, said COVID-19 and other factors had changed the airport's circumstances.

The potential for a significant reduction in travel demand was one consequence, the Alliance said.

The opening of the city's second airport in 2026 will also present challenges.

The Alliance's offer price for securities was a 43 per cent premium on the July 1 closing price. This was the day before its proposal.

However, Sydney Airport leaders were confident of the business' future.

"Sydney Airport is strongly positioned to deliver growth as vaccination rates increase and we move into the post-pandemic recovery period," it said.

"Sydney Airport will only progress a change in control transaction on terms that deliver and recognise appropriate long term value."

The corporation owns on-ground retail assets and earns money from car parking and ground transport and other property.

Shares were even at $7.80 at 1436 AEST.

The securities traded at a record high of $9.06 on December 6, 2019, before the pandemic took hold in Australia.

They have traded at less than $6 for much of this year and last year, as COVID-19 concerns decimated travel demand.

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