SYDNEY - A Canadian pension fund moved closer to sealing a takeover of Australia's Macquarie Communications Infrastructure Group on Tuesday, raising its offer to $1.3 billion and securing the approval of the two biggest shareholders.
The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) said Macquarie Communications shareholders would get a special cash dividend of A$0.50 per security if they approved the offer.
The sweetener was enough to convince the two largest shareholders, Lazard Asset Management and Tyndall Investment Management, to vote for the deal, they said on Tuesday.
Lazard Asset Management considers the revised offer represents fair value and subject to any superior offer being made, we intend to vote in favour of the revised scheme on behalf of our client, Warryn Robertson, portfolio manager, told Reuters. Lazard holds 10.9 percent of MCIG according to Thomson Reuters data.
Tyndall Investment Management, with 10.6 percent, said in a statement it would also tell its clients to accept.
MCIG shares surged 26 percent to A$2.93 in a broader market .AXJO down 1.6 percent.
A shareholder meeting to vote on the deal, originally scheduled for Wednesday, has been postponed. A new date would be announced later, MCIG said.
More than 50 percent by number of shareholders voting need to approve for the bid to go through, or over 75 percent of votes cast by value.
CPPIB, the fund manager for Canada's state pension plan, offered $930 million, or A$2.50 per security, for MCIG in March, saying it would give it a diversified portfolio of radio and television transmission assets with strong cash flows at an attractive price.
The increased offer was double the closing price of MCIG shares prior to the original offer, and nearly triple the three month average trading price to the same date, MCIG said in a statement.
MCIG owns and operates networks of broadcast infrastructure in Australia, Britain and the United States, including Broadcast Australia, Britain's Arqiva broadcast tower operations and Airwave, which runs emergency services transmissions in the UK.
Local media have reported CPPIB to be a potential investor in a capital raising being considered by Australian industrial property trust Goodman Group.
Last year, CPPIB lost a bid for a partial takeover of New Zealand's Auckland Airport. ($1=A$1.26)
(Editing by Jonathan Standing & Ian Geoghegan)