Brookfield has increased its offer for Australian energy firm AusNet Services to A$10.2bn (€6.6bn) in a binding proposal.

It has also revealed that its bid is backed by Australian multi-industry superannuation fund Sunsuper and Canadian institutions Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Investment Management Corporation of Ontario and Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.

AusNet has entered into a scheme implementation deed, under which Brookfield is to acquire all the shares in AusNet at a cash price of A$2.65 per share – up from A$2.50 in its earlier non-binding offer, made in September.

The latest offer gives the Australian company at an enterprise value of A$17.8bn.

“Given that $2.65 significantly exceeds the indicative reserve price, the board believes it has a responsibility to convert it into a binding offer while retaining the ability to consider superior proposals,” AusNet said.

AusNet said its largest shareholder, Singapore Power – which currently owns 32.74% of the AusNet shares – had endorsed the scheme and had informed that it intended to vote in favour of it.

However, the intention of AusNet’s other investor, China State Grids, which has a 20% shareholding in the company, was not known.

Australian pipeline company APA Group, which began due diligence last month had offered AusNet shareholders A$2.60 per share.

The AusNet board said: “If APA wishes to make a further proposal, they are free to do so, as is any other party.”

AusNet will be required to pay Brookfield a break fee if the AusNet board ultimately recommends a competing, superior proposal.

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