CK Infrastructure Holdings is leading a consortium which offered A$11 a share for APA in what would be the third biggest takeover, including debt, of an Australian company.
Sydney-based fund manager Merlon Capital Partners sent a letter to the board attacking what it called a “preposterous” and “inept” deal and seeking an explanation on how the sale could be stopped.
Macquarie has agreed to provide development capital and take an equity stake in the project, alongside Vestas, Intercontinental Energy, and CWP Energy Asia.
The deal would make CKI, founded by Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing, the major gas pipeline player in Australia.
The initial public offering is expected to value the whole company at around A$3 billion.
Private equity firms are expected to drive a wave of merger activity in Australia’s oil and gas sector
The first half of this year has marked the busiest period for Australian issuers since early 2007.
Institutional investors have already committed to buy about A$1.2 billion worth of shares.
It has hiked its bid for a fifth time in nine months after a steep rise in oil prices and potentially deterring any rival bids.
The Japanese company is eager to gain experience as operator of a gas field, a Mitsui spokeswoman in Tokyo said.