Australia’s Origin receives takeover offer from Brookfield and EIG

Australian energy firm and APLNG shareholder, Origin, has received a takeover offer from a consortium consisting of Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management and a unit of US-based energy investor EIG.

Brookfield and EIG’s LNG unit MidOcean Energy first made an offer in August to acquire Origin for A$7.95 cash per share and subsequently raised the offer to A$9.00 cash per share, according to a statement by Origin issued on Thursday.

The indicative, conditional and non-binding proposal values Origin at A$18.4 billion ($11.8 billion), the firm said.

“If the consortium makes a binding offer at A$9.00 cash per share, then it is the current intention of the Origin board to unanimously recommend that shareholders vote in flavor of the proposal, in the absence of a superior proposal,” the firm said.

MidOcean to take APLNG stake

Under the deal, Brookfield would acquire Origin’s energy markets business, while MidOcean Energy would take over Origin’s integrated gas business, including its stake in APLNG.

Last year, EIG submitted an offer to buy a 10 percent stake in the APLNG project for about $1.59 billion.

However, this has not materialized as US energy giant ConocoPhillips exercised its preemption right to purchase up to an additional 10 percent shareholding interest in APLNG.

ConocoPhillips now has a 47.5 percent share in the project but it also operates the 9 mtpa LNG export facility on Curtis Island near Gladstone and the export sales business.

Origin operates APLNG’s gas fields and now holds a 27.5 percent share. China’s Sinopec owns a 25 percent share in APLNG as well.

Besides this move, EIG’s MidOcean Energy recently entered into a definitive agreement with Japan’s Tokyo Gas to buy the latter’s interests in a portfolio of four Australian integrated LNG projects.

These include Chevron’s Gorgon LNG, the Inpex-led Ichthys LNG, Woodside’s Pluto LNG, and Shell’s Queensland Curtis LNG project.

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