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Monday, December 5, 2016, 12:30

Cheung Kong bids for Aussie energy utility owner Duet

By Xinhua
Cheung Kong bids for Aussie energy utility owner Duet
Li Ka-shing, chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. (File photo)

SYDNEY -- Australian-listed energy utility assets owner Duet Group confirmed on Monday an indicative, non-binding and conditional takeover offer from China's Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing's Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI), local media reported.

In August, the Australian government rejected CKI's bid for New South Wales' Ausgrid, saying it was "contrary to the national interest"

CKI has offered 3 Australian dollars (US$2.24) for every share in Duet, valuing the target company at 7.3 billion Australian dollars (US$5.4 billion), the Australian Associated Press reported.

Duet is evaluating the proposal and has engaged Macquarie Capital as financial adviser and law firm Allens as legal adviser, the company said in a statement.

Duet owns electricity and gas networks in Victoria's state as well as the main gas transmission line in the state of Western Australia. Its shares rose as much as 20 percent in early trading on Monday.

The Hong Kong-based company already is one of the biggest overseas investors in Australian infrastructure. Its investments in Australia's energy sector include majority stakes in electricity networks in Victoria and South Australia.

In August, the Australian federal government rejected the Hong Kong group's bid for New South Wales' electricity infrastructure company Ausgrid, saying the foreign proposal was "contrary to the national interest".

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