Brookfield and its partner EIG lifted their offer for Australia’s Origin Energy by A$1.2bn (€727m) valuing its “best and final” offer at almost A$20bn but the deal was promptly rejected by AustralianSuper, Origin’s single largest shareholder with a stake of almost 14%.
The Brookfield consortium, which included Singapore’s GIC and Temasek, increased its offer by 8 cents to A$9.53 a share, hoping to pave the way for a takeover of Australia’s largest electricity and gas retailer, which requires 75% of shareholders to approve.
“The offer from the consortium remains substantially below our estimate of Origin’s long-term value,” said a spokesman, reiterating that AustralianSuper believed Origin had a highly strategy portfolio of assets to participate in and benefit from, the energy transition.
Some big institutional shareholders indicated they were now either prepared to accept or seriously considering the revised offer.
Brookfield Asia Pacific CEO Stewart Upson said: “We have worked hard to deliver the best possible offer reflecting all the current circumstances of the company. Our revised offer price is our best and final offer as to price under the Scheme and is a compelling opportunity for shareholders to realise the value of their investment.”
EIG CEO Blair Thomas said: “The fact that no competing offer has surfaced in nearly a year, together with the massive premium in our proposal, evidences the fact that we have identified every element of value available.”
Origin chairman Scott Perkins said the revised consideration was now above the top end of the independent expert’s valuation range allowing all shareholders to receive a certain cash value for their Origin shares.
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