Australian gas transmission and distribution firm APA Group on Wednesday announced a takeover offer for rival Hastings Diversified Utilities Fund (HDF) in a deal giving HDF an enterprise value of A$1.8bn ($1.82bn).

Separately, APA said it had sold its Queensland state gas distribution network to an investment vehicle 80 per cent owned by Marubeni Corp and RREEF.

APA will hold a 20 per cent stake in the venture and use the A$477m proceeds to repay debt and support the HDF offer, it said in a statement.

The HDF deal comes as big gas players in Australia such as Origin and Santos have been talking up domestic gas potential. The combined group of APA and HDF would own or operate more than 15000 km of gas transmission pipelines across mainland Australia.

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