Hastings Accepts A$1.25 Billion Cash Bid From Pipeline Partners

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund, an Australian natural-gas pipeline owner, accepted a A$1.25 billion ($1.27 billion) cash offer from Pipeline Partners Australia Pty.

Hastings Diversified recommended the offer of A$2.35 a share from Pipeline Partners, a group that includes Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec and another Hastings fund, the Melbourne-based company said today in a statement. The bid, made in May, trumped a December cash and share offer from APA Group worth A$1.12 billion today.

The offer, which includes a 2.5 cent cash distribution, compares with Hastings share price of A$2.36 today. It remains conditional on independent analysis concluding that it’s “fair and reasonable” and there being no higher bid, Hastings said.

Westpac Banking Corp., which holds about 8.1 percent of Hastings Diversified, agreed to accept the offer, Pipeline Partners said today. Caisse de Depot, which oversees $159 billion of assets, and Utilities Trust of Australia, an infrastructure fund managed by Hastings Funds Management, are the main backers of the offer, Pipeline Partners said.

The earlier bid from APA, whose pipelines carry more than half of Australia’s natural gas, was an offer of 0.326 APA shares and 50 cents in cash.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net