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Horizon Roads not counting on green light in close vote

INVESTORS behind a $2.2 billion bid for toll road operator ConnectEast are not counting on victory when security-holders vote on the offer this morning at a meeting to be held in Carrum Downs, at the southern end of the tollway.

INVESTORS behind a $2.2 billion bid for toll road operator ConnectEast are not counting on victory when security-holders vote on the offer this morning at a meeting to be held in Carrum Downs, at the southern end of the tollway.

The deadline for proxy votes closed on Sunday, but yesterday neither the Horizon Roads bid consortium, nor the company, would disclose which direction the votes already cast were trending. ConnectEast, which operates the EastLink road which connects Melbourne to the Frankston Freeway, yesterday went into a trading halt ahead of today's meeting.

The company, which has endorsed the 55? a security offer, last week said the vote was likely to be close. To win control of ConnectEast, the consortium needs 75 per cent of the votes cast today. It cannot vote its 35 per cent stake.

Yesterday, a ConnectEast spokesman declined to comment on the flow of proxies collected so far, pointing out that security-holders could change their minds at today's meeting. A spokesman for Horizon Roads, a consortium of sovereign and pension funds, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which is a member of the consortium and holds more than 9 per cent of ConnectEast.

Other members of the consortium, which is led by infrastructure fund manager CP2, include the National Pension Service of Korea, the British Universities Superannuation Scheme and the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.


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