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ISS urges Investa unit holders to vote for Blackstone's A$3.14B takeover bid

Blackstone Group LP's proposed A$3.14 billion takeover of Investa Office Fund, or IOF, garnered support from proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services, or ISS, ahead of an Aug. 21 unit holder meeting, The Australian Financial Review's Street Talk blog reported.

In a report sent to clients Aug. 9, ISS urged unit holders of the target to vote in favor of the private equity giant's A$5.1485 per-share all-cash offer. ISS' recommendation, according to the publication, was made after a meeting with IOF and took into consideration an earlier assessment by KPMG Corporate Finance, which deemed the proposal "not fair," but reasonable and in unit holders' best interests in the absence of a superior proposal.

The proxy adviser was cited in the Aug. 10 AFR report as saying that Blackstone's offer was good enough and would deliver immediate payment, especially considering the lack of a stronger bid. The proposed per-share price represents a 16.0% premium over the target's A$4.44 one-month volume weighted average price per unit as of May 25.

Investa Listed Funds Management Ltd., the responsible entity for IOF, has supported Blackstone's bid since it was lodged. IOF investor APN Property Group, on the other hand, disclosed earlier that it plans to block the takeover, according to the publication.

Blackstone's takeover will take effect Aug. 22 if it is approved during the unit holder meeting. It is expected to be implemented Sept. 5, the same date IOF's unit holders will receive their payout for the takeover.