Oxford Properties has increased its offer for Investa Office Fund (IOF) to AUD3.35bn (€2.07bn), edging ahead of Blackstone’s bid by almost AUD48m.

And to further strengthen its position, Oxford Properties has acquired the remaining 10% stake that Investa Commercial Property Fund (ICPF) holds in IOF.

Last month Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund OMERS,  agreed to buy 9.9% of IOF from ICPF — if the Blackstone bid did not succeed.

Oxford Properties said it now has board approval from OMERS for its bid and has removed a financing condition that was contained in its first proposal.

“OMERS has sufficient equity available to it to fully fund the proposal, and will fund the proposal using its own funds as required in addition to any third party financing it may arrange prior to completion,” Oxford said.

Oxford Properties is now offering AUD5.60 in cash for each IOF security compared with the Blackstone offer of AUD5.52.

The latest bid comes just three working days before IOF unitholders are due to vote on the existing Blackstone offer. Blackstone has already twice lifted its bid to match its rival bidder.

Blackstone continues to have the right to match Oxford Properties’ offer.