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Australian panel rules on DEXUS complaint over IOF merger

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Australian panel rules on DEXUS complaint over IOF merger

Australia'sTakeovers Panel agreed that a recent statementby the owner of Investa Office Fund'smanager advocating against the fund's pending merger with DEXUSProperty Group was likely to mislead unit holders and should be withdrawn.

However,the panel said in an April 8 ruling that Morgan Stanley, the owner of the Investa managementplatform, should be allowed to vote its interest in Investa Office Fund, or IOF,as it was not satisfied that a "sufficient" argument against it had beenestablished.

The approvalechoed a court ruling from the Supreme Court of New South Wales, which permittedMorgan Stanley to voteits relevant interest in IOF.

In relationto the panel's declaration of unacceptable circumstances, platform manager InvestaOffice Management Holdings Pty. Ltd. addressed the panel's concerns in an April8 letter to IOF unit holders. Investa Office Managing Director and CEO JonathanCallaghan clarified the manager's interests in IOF, as well as the consequencesof the merger being approved.

Meanwhile,DEXUS in an April 11 statement said that it is "pleased" with the panel'sdeclaration, and that the orders of the panel vindicates its .

DEXUSadded that the independent directors of the responsible entity of IOF continuesto unanimously recommend unit holders to vote in favor of the merger in the absenceof a superior proposal. 

DEXUSreminded unit holders that the deadline for receipt of proxy forms by the IOF Registryis at 10 a.m., local time, on April 13. The meeting to vote on themerger is scheduled for April 15.