Brookfield Asset Management has sweetened its offer of A$9.57bn (€5.9bn) to take over AusNet Services, an Australian energy firm partly owned by Singapore’s Singapore Power and China’s State Grid.

AusNet revealed today for the first time that it had twice rejected Brookfield’s approach last month. In those earlier proposals, Brookfield had valued the business at “up to A9.38bn”.

AusNet said Brookfield’s latest offer of A$2.50 cash per share represented a 26% premium to the company’s closing price on 17 September of A$1.98.

When Brookfield came back with its latest improved offer, the board had decided to “provide Brookfield with the opportunity to conduct due diligence on an exclusive basis to enable it to put forward a binding offer”, the AusNet board said.

The AusNet board said there was no certainty that the offer, or the provision of access to Brookfield to conduct due diligence, would result in a binding offer for AusNet or result in entry into a scheme implementation deed.

AustNet, which owns and operates Victoria’s electricity transmission network, is 32.3% owned by Singapore Power and 19.9% by State Grid, and around 48% of the company is publicly owned.

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