GPT abandons $3b Australand bid

GPT Group has walked away from its proposed $3 billion bid for the office, industrial and development assets of Australand Property Group.

GPT Group has walked away from its proposed $3 billion bid for the office, industrial and development assets of Australand Property Group.

The diversified trust set the real estate investment trust sector alight on December 10 last year when it launched an indicative, non-binding offer for the commercial, industrial and investment divisions of rival Australand.

The offer did not include Australand's residential arm and was deemed too low by the takeover target and its major shareholder, with 59 per cent, CapitaLand.

The Australand directors said they had concerns the offer would leave its remaining residential business listed alone on the stock exchange with an uncertain future.

In mid-January, CapitaLand said it was reviewing its holding and would talk to other interested parties, after which a data room was established.

Several groups were said to have registered an interest to view the books, such as Mirvac and the global Blackstone Group.

Property analysts said at the time, that the proposed but non-binding offer by GPT would be the spark for a new round of mergers and acquisitions among the REITs - which has not occurred.

But some said on Monday that with the CapitaLand stake still on the market, Australand remains "a takeover target".

GPT's directors said that after detailed due diligence and discussions, it had become apparent that a transaction at a price that GPT was willing to pay was not possible.

The group will continue with growth plans for its logistics and business parks and office portfolios and allocate capital accordingly, it said

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