Hong Kong’s CK Infrastructure just lobbed a $13 billion takeover for Australian gas pipeline company APA

Photo: Greg Wood/ AFP/ Getty Images.

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited has launched a $13 billion takeover for the APA Group, which owns transmission pipelines delivering half of Australia’s gas usage.

APA says it received an unsolicited proposal from a consortium led by CK Infrastructure Holdings Limited, made up of CK Asset Holdings Limited and Power Assets Holdings Limited. The proposal is indicative and nonbinding.

The bid at $11 a share values APA Group at $12.97 billion. The stapled securities last traded at $8.27.

APA has granted the consortium due diligence.

The consortium has had discussions with the Foreign Investment Review Board and competition watchdog, the ACCC.

“The APA Board will continue to evaluate the proposal and will update APA’s security holders and the market as appropriate,” says APA Group Chairman Michael Fraser.

“The board believes APA has a very attractive business and is well positioned to continue delivering strong results and ongoing growth irrespective of whether the proposal proceeds to an offer.”

APA owns or operates more than $20 billion of energy infrastructure assets.

CK Infrastructure last year bought Australian energy utility assets group Duet — which owns utility assets valued at $11.1 billion, including the Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline in Western Australia, United Energy in Victoria and projects in the US and UK — for $7.37 billion.

CK Infrastructure, which owns power grids in South Australia and Victoria, is the same group which tired to buy NSW energy infrastructure body Ausgrid but was rejected by treasurer Scott Morrison on national security grounds.