APA GROUP has made a takeover offer worth about $130 million for the 1,375 kilometre Moomba to Sydney Ethane Pipeline that supplies ethane from the Cooper basin to Qenos’ Botany ethylene plant.

The offer was made for the Ethane Pipeline Income Fund (EPIF), the investment vehicle which owns the pipeline, in which APA already has a 6.08 per cent stake.

APA currently manages the pipeline through a management services  as well as providing operation and maintenance services to the group.

The company offered EPIF shareholders $1.88 in cash per share – a premium of 27.9% to the last closing price of $1.47.

Shareholders will also be entitled to keep a declared distribution of 3.25 cents for the March quarter.

Independent board members of EPIF have agreed to recommend the APA offer should it be deemed fair and reasonable by independent expert Lonergan Edwards & Associates – hired to prepare a report on the offer.

In an announcement, APA chairman Len Bleasel said APA was the natural owner of the pipeline and was best placed to offer full value to EPIF shareholders.

“The addition of the Ethane Pipeline to APA Group’s portfolio of assets will extend and further diversify APA Group’s investment in related energy infrastructure,” he said.

“It also enables APA Group to expand our footprint into transporting alternate fuels, including potentially liquids in the longer term, enhancing our position as an infrastructure owner in Australia’s growing energy markets.”