GLOBAL - A Macquarie-led consortium has made an AUD2.39 (€1.76) per share cash bid to take over Charter Hall Office Management, an Australian REIT.

The “highly conditional” AUD1.74bn offer will depend on managers Charter Hall Group retaining its shareholding. 

The parent group - which has managing directors David Harrison and David Southon as employees and AUD10bn in assets under management - said it would form an investment subcommittee to open negotiations ahead of its decision whether to allow the consortium to instigate due diligence. 

Harrison and Southon will not be members of the subcommittee.

Charter Hall has already made one attempt to take over the REIT, which was rejected.

In a statement this week, the firm said it was not part of the bidding consortium.

Macquarie has also insisted that Charter Hall Office Management Limited (CHOML), effectively the REIT’s operations arm, remain as the “responsible entity” after attempts to dislodge it in recent months.

The REIT, a value-added office investor in Australia, Europe and the US, has been mooted for potential acquisition since May, when three US hedge fund investors with a combined shareholding of just over 18% protested CHOML’s refusal to distribute AUD200m in proceeds from the sale of its AUD1.6bn US portfolio.

Macquarie rounds its AUD2.39 (€1.76) per share offer to AUD3.52 with a capital return from a divestment of the US portfolio.

Yet, in a statement to the Australian stock exchange, Charter Hall said Macquarie had yet to secure agreement from the other consortium partners for their participation in the bid.

Local press reports have speculated that the consortium includes GIC, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund and Canadian pension scheme investor CPPIB.