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Li Ka-shing's CKI boosts buyout offer for Power Assets to $12.4B

Billionaire Li Ka-shing, pictured in 2015.
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Billionaire Li Ka-shing, pictured in 2015.

Li Ka-shing's Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) has sweetened an $11.6 billion offer to buy the 61 percent of Power Assets it doesn't already own in a rare concession by the Asian tycoon to independent investors unconvinced by his original plan.

CKI, the infrastructure arm of Li's empire, said in a statement late on Wednesday that after feedback from a number of shareholders, it would raise the share-swap ratio in the offer by 2.5 percent, hoisting the deal's value to $12.4 billion. It is also raising a planned special cash dividend by 50 percent.

Li's CKI made the offer to holders in Hong Kong utility Power Assets last month as part of a restructuring of the richest man in Asia's business empire that is designed to give CKI access to Power Assets HK$67.8 billion ($8.8 billion) cash pile. The combined entity would also have a wider mandate to invest in other infrastructure business such as toll roads and water supplies.

Some hedge fund managers and analysts had said that the original offer was not attractive, raising market hopes that the deal terms being improved.

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Under the new proposal, Power Assets shareholders would receive 1.066 CKI shares for every Power Assets share held, up from 1.04 CKI shares as proposed on Sept. 8. They would also get a HK$7.50 per share cash dividend, up from HK$5 per share it planned earlier.

Terms of the new proposal would see CKI issue 1.39 billion new shares, taking the deal's value to HK$96 billion ($12.4 billion). A detailed timetable for the proposal will be outlined in a document issued to Power Assets and CKI shareholders on Oct. 20, the statement said.