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Multiplex Formally Recommends Brookfield Bid

Australian construction group Multiplex on Monday formally recommended a A$7.3 billion (US$6.4 billion) takeover bid by Canada's Brookfield Asset Management, telling shareholders it offered a substantial premium.

An independent expert's report on Multiplex valued the company, the builder of Britain's much delayed Wembley Stadium, at A$4.62 to A$5.26 a share, it said in a target statement to shareholders.

Shares in Multiplex were steady at A$4.97 at in the morning session Monday.

Brookfield , a Canadian firm which manages assets of about $50 billion and owns an extensive real estate portfolio, offered to buy Multiplex for A$5.05 per stapled security in June. The drawn-out offer was agreed with the backing of the Roberts family, which owned 25.6% of Multiplex.

Multiplex completed London's 750 million pound Wembley stadium earlier this year after several major delays and cost overruns.

Multiplex first said it had received a potential bid on January 25. Multiplex founder John Roberts died last year after establishing the company in 1962.

Toronto-listed Brookfield has been on the acquisition trail this year with a $2.15 billion bid for Washington state timberlands owner Longview Fibre but lost a $1.35 billion offer for U.S. shopping mall owner Mills Corp. The Multiplex offer closes August 30.