Blackstone has increased its offer for Investa Office Fund (IOF) as the battle for ownership of the Australian listed real estate fund heats up.

Its original offer of AUD3.1bn was increased to AUD3.2bn (€2bn), but the US private equity firm faces potential competition from Investa Commercial Property Fund (ICPF) and Oxford Properties, which together own 19.99% of IOF, as well as Macquarie, which recently bought 50% of ICPF.

Earlier this week, Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund OMERS, bought half of ICPF’s 19.99% stake in IOF, on the provision that ICPF does not vote in favour of Blackstone’s bid at shareholder meeting next week.

Blackstone today notified IOF’s responsible entity, Investa Listed Funds Management Limited (ILFML), that it had increased its offer from AUD5.25 per security to AUD5.45.

The offer still reflects a discount to the net-tangible assets of IOF, which stands at AUD5.48 per security.

The board of ILFML told the Australian stock exchange that it will consider the Blackstone offer and will “provide an update as soon as practicable”.

It said it “continues to unanimously recommend that IOF unitholders vote in favour of the Blackstone proposal in the absence of a superior proposal”.