Hometown Corporation has raised its bid to AUD2.35 (€1.5) for each Gateway Lifestyle Group share representing a 12% increase on the US-based manufactured home company’s previous offer.

The new bid values Australia’s Gateway at AUD714m, higher than the $2.30 per security or AUD699m Brookfield Asset Management’s property arm offered for Gateway last week

Hometown has also bought a 9.5% stake from Sydney-based fund manager Perennial ahead of making its latest bid. This will give Hometown a stake of 18.2% as part of a pre-bid arrangement with four managers to buy their holdings in Gateway.

Hometown will require the approval of Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board to increase its stake from the current level.

Hometown made its original offer a fortnight ago. This prompted the rival “superior” bid from Brookfield Property Group, which had been granted due diligence before making a binding offer.

Hometown has now proposed conducting due diligence on a non-exclusive basis.

Stock analysts said the latest Hometown offer should now be considered “superior” to that from Brookfield.

Andrew Love, Gateway’s chairman, said the revised Hometown proposal stated that the indicative price would be reduced by the value of any dividends or distributions paid following receipt of the revised proposal.

Love said Gateway’s board remained committed to maximising value for security holders.

He added that the board had commenced an assessment of the revised Hometown proposal, including any implications for the exclusivity agreement currently in place with Brookfield.

Some investment bankers and analysts believe Gateway may attract a third bidder. Given its past interest in Gateway, some remain convinced that Singapore’s GIC may be contemplating a move.