Cromwell Property Group has made another attempt to take over the Investa Office Fund (IOF), offering to buy all the shares it does not already own for AUD4.85 (€3.44) each.

It is estimated that the offer would cost Cromwell AUD2.62bn.

IOF said Cromwell, which has been looking to buy the AUD3.8bn listed Australian fund, submitted an indicative, non-binding proposal to acquire all remaining units.

Independent directors of Investa Listed Funds Management (ILFM), the responsible entity for IOF, told the Australia Securities Exchange (ASX) that Cromwell had submitted an unsolicited “proposal” to acquire all outstanding IOF shares by way of a trust scheme for 100% cash.

Cromwell owns a 9.83% stake in IOF, purchased in April last year in an attempt to derail a takeover offer from Dexus Property Group.

Cromwell proposes to pay AUD4.85 for each IOF security, including a notional 10 cent distribution due to be paid at the end of June. The proposal is subject to a number of conditions, including the undertaking of due diligence.

Directors of ILFM said receipt of the proposal follows discussions with Cromwell since November 2016.

The independent directors said they had not yet formed a view on the merits of the proposal, but intended to engage with Cromwell in relation to terms and conditions and disclosure of the identity of the proposed equity investors.

One of the sticking points in progressing the Cromwell move has been the reluctance of the bidder to disclose its capital partners.

Cromwell is backed by South African property company Redfine, which, according to media reports, would involve other capital partners to fund a takeover of IOF.

The directors reiterated that they will continue to negotiate the terms of the acquisition of 50% of IOF’s management platform with Investa Commercial Property Fund.

They advised IOF unitholders to take no action at this time.