Origin Energy chairman Scott Perkins says there will be no kneejerk reaction or radical reassessment of the large electricity and gas supplier’s structure if the $20 billion takeover deal with Brookfield and EIG is voted down this week.
No.1 shareholder AustralianSuper is poised to reveal it increased its stake above 17 per cent after wading into the market on Friday.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s shareholder vote, which has been fully endorsed by the board, Mr Perkins said the extraordinary situation where the agreed deal had been rejected by Origin’s biggest shareholder was a case of being “loved from all sides”.
Origin chairman Scott Perkins is urging shareholders to vote for the deal. Oscar Colman
The sway that longstanding shareholder AusSuper has in the outcome makes getting the required 75 per cent approval highly unlikely. It means the transaction vaunted as the deal of the year is at serious risk of going down in flames.
Even so, Norges Bank and Californian pension fund CalSTRS confirmed they will cast their proxies in favour of the deal.
Mr Perkins said the process had shone a light on the value of Origin, whose share price was languishing in the $5 per share range before the interest of the North American suitors was revealed last November.
In all, Brookfield and EIG have raised their offer three times since their original approach at $7.95 a share in August 2022, despite the absence of a rival bidder. It now stands at $9.53 a share and has been declared “final”.
“No matter which side of the vote people choose to rest, it actually has been a ringing endorsement of Origin’s strategy,” Mr Perkins said of the process. That includes the last several months of heated debate about the value that the deal – describedRead more on afr.com