Nov 09, 2018 (China Knowledge) - Australia’s treasury department looks set to block a bid by CK Group to buy out APA Group which is the country’s largest natural gas infrastructure firm. CK Group is one of the businesses under Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing.
The Australian Treasury Department deems the acquisition to be against its national interest as it would result in an unwanted concentration of foreign ownership in its largest gas transmission business.
Prior to this, CK Group had agreed by purchase APA Group for USD 9.5 billion.
Billionaire Li Ka-shing has been actively acquiring assets in Australia’s energy sector. Back in 2016, the billionaire was stopped by the Australian Federal Government when he tried to acquire a controlling stake in the country’s largest power grid company, Ausgrid.
The recent block by the Australian treasury department did not come as a surprise. Many analysts had expected a halt of the acquisition due to the size of APA Group and the potential for the acquisition to be politicized during the upcoming Australian federal elections next year.
APA Group, with its 2 subsidiaries Australian Pipeline Trust and APT Investment Trust owns more than USD 20 billion of energy assets. The group delivers 50% of the country’s natural gas usage to 1.3 million families and firms.
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