© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Passengers walk with their luggage towards departure gates at Sydney International Airport in Australia, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Steven Saphore/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd said on Thursday it would reject a A$22.26 billion ($16.60 billion) takeover proposal from a group of infrastructure investors, that, if successful, would have been one of Australia’s biggest-ever buyouts.

The operator of Australia’s largest airport said directors had unanimously concluded the proposal undervalued the airport and was not in the best interest of shareholders.

The Sydney Aviation Alliance – a consortium comprising IFM Investors, QSuper and Global Infrastructure Partners – last week offered A$8.25 per share, a 42% premium to the pandemic-ravaged company’s last trading price before the offer was made.

Its shares closed at A$7.80 on Wednesday before the proposal was rejected, amid uncertainty over whether the board would accept the proposal, which was contingent on its recommendation.

The company said on Thursday it recognised its share price was likely to trade below the consortium’s indicative price in the short term but said it would only progress a change in control transaction that would “deliver and recognise appropriate long-term value”.

The Sydney Aviation Alliance did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

($1 = 1.3407 Australian dollars)

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