Speculation on Australand takeover rises

Recent rally in target's price heightens talk of takeover tilt by Stockland.

Speculation that Stockland is mulling a takeover of up to $4 billion for rival Australand has been been heightened by a recent rally in the target's price, according to The Australian

On Friday, Australand's share price closed 3c higher at $3.60 after adding more than 12% since June 24.

Sources said Stockland executives were weighing up a deal, with a cash and scrip bid the likely scenario, according to the newspaper. The bid would be worth more than $4 billion, given Australand's assets included $2.55 billion worth of investment property, a $900 million residential business and a $380 million commercial and industrial development arm.

"Parts of the Australand business appear to be a good strategic fit, although we would question whether Stockland would want parts of the office portfolio," JPMorgan analyst Richard Jones said, according to The Australian.

GPT Group made a $2.94bn bid for Australand's office and industrial property businesse in December but abandoned its pursuit in May. 

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