A Canadian firm has made a $9.6 billion takeover bid for power grid owner AusNet Services. 

Canadian infrastructure giant Brookfield has proposed buying all the shares in AusNet in a $2.50 per share cash offer.

AusNet owns Victoria’s electricity transmission grid as well as power and gas distribution assets in the state. 

It is the third buyout Brookfield has proposed to AusNet, and represents a premium of 26 per cent to AusNet’s closing price last Friday.

The deal would value the Melbourne-based owner of power transmission and energy networks at $17 billion including debt.

The offer is subject to approval by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and would require a unanimous recommendation by AusNet’s board.

“Following careful consideration, and consultation with its advisers, the board of AusNet considers that it is in the best interests of AusNet’s shareholders to engage further with Brookfield on the indicative proposal,” AusNet said.

Singapore Power owns 32.3 per cent of AusNet and State Grid of China owns 19.9 per cent. Both these groups have been informed of the terms of the Brookfield proposal. 

It is the latest in a series of moves by an international player to swoop on Australian infrastructure assets, including electricity grid owner Spark Infrastructure as well as Sydney Airport and WestConnex.