Latest Updates: Sydney Airports Board Agrees $ 17.5 Billion Takeover

The Sydney Airport Board of Directors has agreed to sell to a consortium led by Melbourne-based IFM Investors for AU $ 23.6 billion (US $ 17.5 billion) as part of the one of the largest deals ever in Australia.

The sale comes just as travel around the country begins to restart after more than a year and a half of mostly closed borders.

The consortium, known as the Sydney Aviation Alliance, offered AU $ 8.75 per share, a 6.3% premium over Friday’s closing price. Sydney Airport shares have jumped more than 40% since the consortium made its first offer in early July.

On Friday, Alan Joyce, managing director of Qantas, Australia’s national carrier, said the company received 25 times more passenger bookings in the previous two weeks than in a similar period in August.

The airline also announced in October its intention to recall its 11,000 dismissed staff to work and resume service on selected international routes in the coming months.

The IFM-led consortium initially offered A $ 8.25 per share for the airport in July, followed by a softened offer of $ 8.45 in August. The current, higher offer was made in September, when the airport agreed to give the consortium four weeks to perform due diligence.

The takeover will be put to a shareholder vote, which is expected to take place in the first quarter of next year. Stocks at the airport rose 3% on Monday.

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