Shareholders of Australia’s biggest gas and electricity supplier, Origin Energy, have voted down a A$20bn (€12.2bn) “best and final” takeover offer from Brookfield Asset Management and EIG.
About 69% of votes were in favour of the deal but below the threshold of 75% of ballots cast at a shareholders’ meeting in Sydney on Monday.
Led by Origin Energy’s single-largest shareholder, AustralianSuper, which holds a 17.5% stake, said the voting result was highly anticipated.
An AustralianSuper spokesperson said: “AustralianSuper believes Origin has a highly strategic portfolio of assets to participate in, and for members to benefit from, in the energy transition.
“We have never wavered in our belief that the value and future value of Origin is better in the hands of members and other shareholders rather than a private equity consortium seeking to make a quick return based on the proposed scheme terms, and we are pleased that this is the outcome.”
Following the vote, Origin chairman, Scott Perkins, said Origin would continue as an independent ASX-listed company.
Brookfield first launched the bid in November last year with US energy investor EIG as its partner. The consortium revised its offer three times, the latest bid coming late last month on the eve of the original shareholders’ meeting. However, the last revised bid was rejected by the board.
A Brookfield spokeswoman said: “In light of the result of the vote, Brookfield will evaluate its next steps, if any, with respect to Origin, given the strong level of Origin shareholder support for its proposal and taking into account the potential impact to Origin of the Australian Government’s recently announced proposed expansion to its Capacity Investment Scheme and National Energy Transformation Partnership.”
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