Brookfield Infrastructure Partners raised its hostile offer for Inter Pipeline Ltd. for a second time to about CA$8.58 billion (US$6.85 billion) as it battles a rival bid from Pembina Pipeline Corp.

Pembina has made an all-stock bid of about CA$8.5 billion, or $19.7 per share as of close on July 14, while Brookfield had offered CA$8.48 billion, with an all-cash option.

Brookfield said on July 15 shareholders can now elect to receive either CA$20 per share in cash or 0.25 of a share of Brookfield Infrastructure Corp., which translates into CA$23.85 as of its last close, for each Inter share.

It had previously offered about CA$19.50 in all-cash per Inter share, or 0.225 of Brookfield’s Class A share.

The Canadian pipeline operator had recommended that shareholders vote for the offer from Pembina.

The sweetened offer comes a day after the Alberta Securities Commission ruled that Inter did not engage in any improper defensive tactics to fend off Brookfield's hostile takeover bid.

The bidding war for Inter’s oil and gas pipelines, mainly in Western Canada, as well as storage facilities and processing plants, comes as North American oil futures have climbed to more than $70/bbl fueled by a recovery in travel demand from the early pandemic hit.

(US$1 = 1.2518 Canadian dollars)