EIG to buy APLNG stake from Origin for $1.59 billion

Energy investor EIG said it would buy a 10 percent stake in the Australia Pacific LNG export project from Origin Energy for about $1.59 billion.

According to Washington-based EIG, this deal represents the first ever acquisition of an interest in an operational integrated LNG project by a private equity sponsor.

Origin operates APLNG’s gas fields, upstream production and pipeline system, while ConocoPhillips operates the 9 mtpa LNG export facility on Curtis Island near Gladstone and the export sales business.

The project has long-term LNG contracts with China’s Sinopec and Japan’s Kansai Electric.

Origin has a 37.5 percent stake in APLNG. Following the completion of the deal, Origin would have a 27.5 percent stake, ConocoPhillips 37.5 percent, Sinopec 25 percent, and EIG would have a 10 percent share.

The divestment will not change Origin’s role as upstream operator, responsible for the upstream exploration, development, and production activities.

As part of the transaction, EIG said it would have the right to nominate one member to APLNG’s board of directors and would maintain customary shareholder rights and protections.

Over the last fifteen years, EIG said it has invested in nine separate LNG projects located in six countries, and this acquisition represents a continuation of its strategy to gain exposure to high-quality LNG assets.

The acquisition also builds on EIG’s investment presence in Australia and provides EIG with a platform for future growth in global LNG, it said.

Also, the transaction has received approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and is subject to the waiving of pre-emptive rights by ConocoPhillips and Sinopec, as well as other customary completion conditions.

The two firms expect to complete the deal by the end of 2021.

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