A unit of Canada’s Brookfield and fund manager Morrison & Co entered an exclusivity deed with Australia-based Uniti Group on Thursday, after a Macquarie-led consortium offered A$5 per share ($3.73) for the Australian telecom infrastructure company.
The new deed replaces the one Uniti had with just Morrison & Co, but is on “substantially the same terms” as that arrangement, which valued Uniti at A$4.50 per share.
The announcement came after Uniti earlier on Thursday said it received a buyout proposal from Macquarie Asset Management and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board that valued it at about A$3.44 billion.
Uniti said both proposals are still non-binding and preliminary. Morrison & Co and Brookfield did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for more details on the consortium.
The proposal for Uniti is Morrison & Co’s latest venture into telecom after funds managed by it acquired a 49% stake in Telstra’s mobile tower business last year.
Brookfield has also been involved in a number of deals in Australia. In recent weeks, its investment vehicle bought asset manager La Trobe Financial in a $1.1 billion deal, and it has also tried to buy power producer AGL Energy.
Trading of Uniti shares was halted on Wednesday after media reports about the Macquarie bid. The stock has risen almost 50% since March 14, when it entered exclusive talks with Morrison.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell