Mar 27, 2023
Brookfield, EIG Near $10.2 Billion Takeover of Origin
(Bloomberg) -- A Brookfield Asset Management Inc.-led consortium agreed terms on a A$18.7 billion ($12.4 billion) deal, including debt, to acquire Australian utility Origin Energy Ltd. after months of delays.
The consortium, which includes EIG Global Energy Partners, increased the value of its proposal following further talks in recent weeks and the pact will value Origin’s shares at A$8.912 each, the target said Monday in a filing. The announcement confirms an earlier Bloomberg News report that the parties planned to complete the deal within days.
Adding Origin allows Brookfield to add further exposure to the shift away from fossil fuels in Australia, where utilities are accelerating plans to shutter coal plants and expand in renewables.
“As the energy transition gathers pace, what’s needed is increasingly clear: faster deployment of large-scale renewables, the accelerated, responsible retirement of coal generation, and an interim, supportive role for gas as the dependable back-up fuel,” Brookfield’s Head of Transition Investing Mark Carney said in a separate statement.
Sydney-based Origin’s board has unanimously recommended the proposal and is targeting completion in early 2024, bringing to a close a pursuit that had been cast into doubt by market turmoil and moves by Australia’s government to cap domestic natural gas prices.
The consortium had last month lowered its original offer, and the new proposal is at an about 9% premium to Monday’s closing share price.
“The transaction represents a significant premium to the share price prior to the original indicative proposal, and reflects the strategic nature of Origin’s platform, its growth prospects and anticipated earnings recovery,” Origin Chairman Scott Perkins said in the statement.
Origin will be broken up under the plans, with EIG taking the LNG unit, one of Asia’s largest. Meanwhile, Brookfield plans to invest to decarbonize Origin’s large utility and generation business, which serves more than 4.5 million homes and businesses, and currently operates Australia’s biggest coal plant.
Under terms of the new proposal, a plan to offer a split payment will be extended to all shareholders and include a component in US dollars to account for the company’s 27.5% stake in the Australia Pacific LNG joint venture with ConocoPhillips and Sinopec. EIG’s MidOcean Energy will sell a further 2.49% stake in the LNG unit to ConocoPhillips following completion of the takeover, Origin said in the Monday statement.
Other members of the Brookfield consortium include GIC Pte Ltd. and Temasek Holdings Pte, Origin said in the statement.
(Updates with Origin statement)
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