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(From AFX Europe (Focus))
CHICAGO (AFX) -
Private equity firm Blackstone Group raised its cash takeover bid for Equity Office Properties Trust to $23 billion on Tuesday, escalating a down-to-the-wire bidding war for the real estate company.
Equity Office told shareholders to vote for the deal at a special meeting Wednesday morning, even though it was still less than a $23.2 billion bid from rival suitor Vornado Realty Trust.
Blackstone's newest bid is for $55.50 per share, up nearly 15 percent from its first offer in November. Tuesday's sweetened offer was a nearly 3 percent increase from Blackstone's last bid of $54 a share, or $22.3 …