Brookfield’s $10.6 bln bid for Origin Energy expected to fail on Monday

By Scott Murdoch

SYDNEY, Dec 4 (Reuters) – The outcome of a Brookfield consortium’s $10.6 billion bid for Australia’s Origin Energy will be officially known on Monday, with investors expected to vote down its year-long attempt to buy the country’s largest power retailer.

Origin’s largest shareholder, A$300 billion ($198.36 billion) pension fund AustralianSuper, has said it would reject the A$9.39 per share offer.

AustralianSuper owns about 17% of Origin, which should be enough to block the bid that requires at least 75% support from the votes cast at the investor meeting in Sydney.

Origin said on Nov. 23, when the vote was adjourned after the consortium lodged a revised proposal, that proxy votes showed the bid would have failed to win had the meeting gone ahead.

Origin shares closed at A$8.19 on Friday, the lowest in about nine months.

“The market has already factored in the bid failing and the stock is roughly fairly valued in our opinion, so I wouldn’t expect much impact if the bid fails,” said Morningstar analyst Adrian Atkins.

“If the Brookfield consortium comes back with a hostile off-market offer, there could be upside to the share price.”

Luke Edwards, Brookfield Australia head of renewable energy and transition, said on Friday if the deal was voted down the consortium would need to consider whether a new government plan to reshape energy markets negatively impacted its view of Origin’s value.

“We will do this work before considering whether to continue pursuing a proposal to acquire Origin Energy or the Origin Energy Markets business,” he said.

Origin did not respond to a request for comment ahead of the vote.

The company’s board last week rejected a revised back-up bid from the Brookfield consortium that the energy firm said was too complex and highly conditional. ($1 = 1.5124 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney; Editing by Jamie Freed)

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