Origin Energy, one of Australia's leading energy retailers and generators, is facing opposition to its takeover by a Brookfield Asset Management-led consortium. AustralianSuper, Origin Energy's largest shareholder with a near 14% stake, has announced that it will be voting against the proposed takeover. The superannuation provider, which manages assets worth around A$300 billion, argues that the offer undervalues the company.
In its statement, AustralianSuper highlighted how the deal's valuation multiples fall significantly below those of recent relevant transactions and comparable companies. With the ongoing energy transition towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, AustralianSuper believes that strategic energy transition platforms like Origin Energy have even greater value.
Under the consortium's offer, Origin shareholders will receive approximately A$8.81 per share. Although this reflects a premium, some shareholders have expressed concerns about the overall valuation. Origin shares have performed strongly this year, trading at A$9.17, representing a 19% increase amid takeover interest and rising power prices.
The proposal is scheduled for a shareholder vote on November 23. Origin Energy's board has recommended accepting the consortium's offer, but with significant opposition from AustralianSuper and other shareholders, the outcome of the vote remains uncertain.