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GPT digs in over Australand takeover | Updated: 10:41:35 AM, Saturday December 15, 2012

Property company GPT Group is refusing to back away from its $3 billion takeover bid for two thirds of Australand’s businesses, despite the target knocking back the offer.

Australand on Friday rejected GPT’s offer to buy investment property portfolio and its commercial and industrial property business.

The offer price is a $140 million premium to the book value of the businesses.

GPT hit back, saying it was committed to making an offer that was in the interests of investors of both companies.

‘GPT believes its proposal provides a compelling value proposition for the securityholders of Australand,’ it said in a brief statement.

Australand had said it would not enter negotiations with GPT, which launched its offer a week ago.

Australand, which also owns residential properties, has described GPT’s offer as too low.

‘The board of Australand, together with its advisers, has carefully considered the proposal and has determined that the proposal does not provide a compelling value proposition and is not in the best interests of Australand’s securityholders,’ the company said in a statement.

The GPT offer does not provide a sufficient premium or compensation to securityholders for the transaction costs that would be incurred by Australand, it said.

‘Whilst the board remains committed to maximising securityholder value, it does not intend to engage with The GPT Group in relation to the proposal,’ the company said.

Australand securities were up nine cents, or 2.8 per cent, at $3.27 at 15127 AEDT, while GPT shares were down five cents at $3.55.

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