Origin Board ‘Leaning Toward’ Rejecting Revised Offer, AFR Says

By Bloomberg

Nov 26, 2023

image is BloomburgMedia_S4Q076T0AFB401_26-11-2023_15-00-07_638365536000000000.jpg

The Origin Energy Ltd. office in Melbourne, Australia, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. Origin Energy’s biggest shareholder AustralianSuper lifted its stake in the takeover target a week before the deciding shareholder vote on the Brookfield Asset Management-led bid.

Origin Energy’s board is “unconvinced” by a revised takeover proposal made by Brookfield Asset Management Ltd. and EIG Global Energy Partners in a bid to reach a deal, Australian Financial Review reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

Directors are “leaning toward” rejecting a new bid that would see Brookfield pay A$12.3 billion ($8.1 billion) for Origin’s energy generation and retailing operations and EIG take the remainder of the assets, the paper said. AustralianSuper, Origin’s top investor with a stake of more than 17%, has already said it would vote against the alternative proposal if the board decides to put it forward to shareholders.

Origin delayed a shareholder vote to Dec. 4 after disclosing the amended bid and as proxy results showed an existing proposal by Brookfield and EIG would fail to get adequate approval. If the board does recommend the revised proposal, a new vote on elements of the offer probably wouldn’t happen until 2024 given legal, financial and regulatory issues, AFR said. Should directors reject it, shareholders would be left to vote on the previous plan, according to the outlet.

Origin declined to comment to AFR on Sunday.

READ MORE: Origin Top Investor Rejects Brookfield’s ‘Low-Ball’ New Bid (1)

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.

By Christine Burke

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