Australand opens books to Stockland

Property group agrees to provide access to due diligence as board prepares to asses $2.5bn takeover bid.

Property developer Australand Property Group (ALZ) has agreed to provide suitor Stockland (SGP) with access to due diligence material as it considers a sweetened takeover bid for $4.35 per share.

The takeover target said it would negotiate access to due diligence including the provision of reciprocal due diligence in order for its board to form a view on the merits of the proposal. 

Earlier this week,  Stockland lobbed an increased and final takeover offer for rival Australand, which values the company at $2.5 billion.

Stockland will offer 1.124 of its securities for each Australand security in a full scrip proposal, valuing the shares at $4.35 each.  

The group said the offer represents a 12.1% premium to Australand's volume weighted average price (VWAP) of $3.88 for the three month period to March 18, the day prior to Stockland acquiring a 19.9 per cent interest in Australand. 

The group added it also represented a 22.2% premium to Australand's net tangible assets per share.

As an alternative consideration, Stockland also said it was prepared to offer a reduced scrip ratio, together with a cash component up to an aggregate of $250 million, with the structure to be agreed with the Australand board.

Stockland chief executive Mark Steinert said the offer represented a substantial premium against a range of measures and would bring together two high calibre companies with complementary assets and cultures.

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