A sale of Australia's biggest airport edged closer on Monday (September 13).
Infrastructure investor group Sydney Aviation Alliance sweetened its takeover offer to $17.4 billion.
And now has the green light to conduct due diligence on Sydney Airport Holdings.
The move sent the airport's shares up 5%.
Analysts say a rival bid appeared unlikely given the scale of the funding needed.
As well as foreign ownership rules that mean the airport must remain 51% Australian owned.
Sydney Airport is Australia's only listed airport operator.
A purchase would be a long-term bet on the travel sector, which has been battered by the global health crisis.
The country plans to gradually open its borders once 80% of adults are fully vaccinated, a milestone expected by the end of the year.
A successful takeover would be among the largest buyouts ever of an Australian firm, and underline a year of stellar deal activity.
The improved offer is an increase of 3.6% over prior proposals from the consortium, both of which were rejected as inadequate.