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UPDATE 1-Brookfield launches hostile bid to buy Canada's Inter Pipeline

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·2 min read
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(Adds Inter Pipeline response)

Feb 22 (Reuters) - Brookfield Infrastructure Partnerson Monday formally launched a hostile bid to buy InterPipeline Ltd with the same C$16.50-per-share offer thatthe Canadian oil and gas transportation company had rejected asinadequate weeks ago.

Earlier this month, Brookfield said it was willing to raiseits offer to as much as C$18.25 per Inter share if the companycomes to the negotiating table, but Inter turned it down andlater launched a strategic review of options.

The current offer from Brookfield, which acquires andmanages infrastructure assets, values Inter at C$7.08 billion($5.62 billion).

The investment firm earlier this month also said it hadacquired a 19.65% economic interest in Inter Pipeline, to becomethe top shareholder in the Calgary-based company.

Brookfield said on Monday that other shareholders now haveuntil June 7 to accept its offer at the original C$16.50 pershare with an option to take that amount in cash or Brookfield'sshares.

Inter Pipeline said separately that its special committee isreviewing the offer and will make a recommendation within 15days.

"It is the Board's duty to not only review this offer, butto pursue all available opportunities to unlock maximum valuefor our shareholders," the company said in a statement, urgingshareholders to not take any action on the hostile offer.

Inter, whose assets include more than 7,000 km (4,300 miles)of oil pipelines, 5 million barrels of oil storage in westernCanada and natural gas liquids processing plants, said onThursday its formal review could include a possible "corporatetransaction" but no decisions have been made yet.

Brookfield Infrastructure has engaged BMO Capital Marketsand Barclays Capital Canada Inc to act as joint financialadvisers.

($1 = 1.2599 Canadian dollars)(Reporting by Rithika Krishna and additional reporting byShariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and DevikaSyamnath)