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$20 billion bid for Origin Energy defeated

The $20 billion (enterprise value) bid for Australia’s Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) has been defeated, leaving the company to chart its own path once again.

Shareholders failed to approve the deal, despite approximately 69% of the shares being cast in favor of the year-long attempt to buy the country’s largest power retailer from Brookfield of Canada and US investors EIG.

Origin’s largest shareholder, AustralianSuper, led the rejection of the $9.39 per share offer (the small rise in the value of the Aussie dollar in recent weeks trimmed the price from the original $9.52 a share).

AustralianSuper owned just over 17% of Origin, which was enough to block the bid that requires at least 75% support from the votes cast at Monday’s investor meeting in Sydney.

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

Origin shares closed at $8.19 on Friday, the lowest in about nine months, and fell further on Monday, losing another 3.9% before trading was halted just before the meeting was due to start when the shares were at $7.86.

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