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Inter Pipeline starts review of options after rejecting Brookfield bid

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(Reuters) - Canada's Inter Pipeline Ltd said on Thursday it has launched a review of options, including a possible 'corporate transaction', just a week after it rejected an unsolicited bid from its largest shareholder Brookfield Infrastructure Partners.

Brookfield, which acquires and manages infrastructure assets, had offered C$16.50 per share for Inter and said it was willing to raise it to as much as C$18.25 if the pipeline operator gave it access to due diligence.

At the top price, Brookfield's offer valued Inter at C$7.8 billion ($6.15 billion) and would have made it the biggest Canadian oil and gas deal since 2017, according to data provider Dealogic.

However, the Calgary-based company rejected the offer, saying it was too low.

While Inter on Thursday did not give any detail on the type of corporate transaction it might consider, it said it continues to look for partner for its C$4 billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex in Alberta province.

The company had in 2019 rejected an unsolicited C$12.4 billion buyout offer from an unnamed bidder, which, according to several media reports, was Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing. That offer valued Inter shares at around C$30 each.

The company's assets include over 7,000 km (4,300 miles) of pipelines and 5 million barrels of oil storage in western Canada, as well as natural gas liquids processing plants.

Separately, Inter posted a 68% jump in fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher volumes and capital fees at its oil sands transportation business.

Excluding items, it earned 24 Canadian cents, above expectations of 19 Canadian cents, according to Refinitiv IBES.

Its shares closed at C$17.50 in Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday, up 30.6% since the Brookfield offer was made public.

($1 = 1.2674 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)