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Hong Kong giant launches $13 billion bid to takeover Australia’s largest gas network

Hong-Kong based energy giant CK Infrastructure has launched a $13-billion takeover offer for Australia’s largest gas network.

Australian gas distributor APA received the proposal this morning, with CK Infrastructure offering a 33% premium at $11 a share.

APA supplies gas to over a million Australian homes and controls 15,000 km of gas pipelines nationwide.

Two years ago, in a joint bid with China’s State Grid Corporation, CK Infrastructure attempted to buy AusGrid and was knocked back by Treasurer Scott Morrison.

But will this bid get over the line?

Investment analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis Bruce Robertson says “stranger things have happened”.

“Do I think it will have a chance of getting through the FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board)… well, it controls the backbone of our gas transmission system in Australia,” Bruce tells Ross Greenwood.

“[APA] controls nearly all the major routes on the east coast of Australia. And really, it shouldn’t. But stranger things have happened.

“The FIRB is generally speaking a pretty toothless tiger.”

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