Australand Rises as It Agrees to Open Books to Stockland

Australand Property Group shares had the biggest gain in 10 weeks in Sydney trading after agreeing to open its books to bidder Stockland and increasing its earnings outlook for the year ending Dec. 31.

The company’s shares rose 2.1 percent to A$4.29 at the close of trading in Sydney, the biggest gain since March 21. Stockland shares rose 0.3 percent to A$3.90, while the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.5 percent.

Australand will provide Stockland access to due diligence materials, the Sydney-based property company said in a regulatory filing today, after receiving a sweetened takeover bid from Australia’s biggest diversified real estate trust this week. Earnings per share for 2014 are expected to increase by as much as 25 percent, compared with previous guidance of 17 percent to 20 percent growth, it said.

Stockland made an all-share offer equivalent to A$4.35 a share on May 28, after the target on April 23 rejected an earlier bid that equated to A$4.20 a share at the time.

Australand “will engage with Stockland to negotiate access to due diligence including the provision of reciprocal due diligence in order for the board to form a view on the merits of the proposal,” Australand said in today’s statement.

Australand shares have climbed 11 percent this year. Stockland securities have risen 8 percent, compared with a 2.6 percent gain in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index.

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