AustralianSuper, the largest shareholder in takeover target Origin Energy, has lifted its holding in Origin by 1.02% to 13.68%.
In March this year, Origin accepted a joint A$18.7bn (€11.3bn) offer from Brookfield and the US private equity company, EIG Partner’s MidOcean Energy.
At the time, Origin said that, in the absence of a superior proposal, it is unanimously recommending that its shareholders vote in favour of the offer. The takeover vote, which requires the approval of at least 75% of the votes cast, is not expected before the end of the year or early next year.
An AustralianSuper spokesperson, inferring that the takeover offer undervalues Australia’s largest electricity and gas retailer, said: “Origin’s current share price is substantially below our estimate of its long-term value and this is why we have increased our holding in the company.”
AustralianSuper was also satisfied that Origin is moving in the right direction to its net zero targets to become a more sustainable business, said a source.
AustralianSuper has been a substantial shareholder in Origin for more than 10 years. During that time it has increased its shareholding a number of times.
Fund manager, Perpetual, which together with AustralianSuper holds a 15% interest, said earlier this month that the value of Origin was “materially higher” than it was 12 months ago and warranted a higher bid price.
Sources told IPE Real Assets that other investors “are not adverse” to the view held by AustralianSuper and Perpetual on the Brookfield-EIG offer. One source said: “Over time, you will hear some of these investors becoming more vocal [on the price issue].”
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