A consortium led by Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) has received an approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) to acquire Duet Group, an operator of energy utility businesses, for A$7.5bn ($5.2bn).

In a regulatory filing, Duet said that it was informed by the consortium over the receipt of the clearance from Australian Federal Treasurer for the deal under the Foreign Acquisition & Takeovers Act.

The company added that the approval is not subject to any conditions that the CKI-led consortium considers to be unacceptable.

Duet chairman Doug Halley said: “We are pleased that a key condition in relation to the implementation of the proposed acquisition of DUET Group has now been satisfied.

“The DUET boards believe that the Consortium’s proposal fully recognizes the value of DUET’s operating businesses and the platform for future growth that our management team has created.”

In January, the consortium, which comprises Cheung Kong Property (CKP) and Power Assets Holdings (PAH), agreed to acquire Duet.

Under the terms of the scheme implementation agreement, the Duet shareholders will receive A$3 for each share held. 

Duet has energy utility assets in Australia as well as in the US, the UK and Europe.

It received an initial non-binding acquisition proposal from the consortium for $2.90 per stapled security in November last year.

The offer price was later increased by the consortium to $3.00 per stapled security in December.

The transaction, which is scheduled to be completed by mid-May 2017, is still subject to approval by DUET’s Security holders.

Duet said: “Each of the DUET Boards unanimously recommends that DUET security holders vote in favour of the schemes, in the absence of a superior proposal.

“KPMG Corporate Finance, the independent expert appointed by the DUET boards has determined that the Proposed Acquisition is fair and reasonable and in the best interests of DUET security holders.”


Image: The transaction is still subject to approval by DUET’s Security holders.. Photo: courtesy of moggara12/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.