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Investors deliver defeat to Origin Energy’s takeover bid

Today marks the judgment day for Origin Energy, as trading in the company’s shares is set to resume later on Tuesday. This comes after the well-anticipated defeat of the $20 billion bid for the company by Canada’s Brookfield and the US’s EIF.

On Monday afternoon, the company’s shares were trading at $7.86 before trading was halted at 1:46 pm, upon the company’s request, in preparation for the shareholder meeting scheduled for 2 pm.

At the meeting, Origin announced that 68.92% of the shares voted in favor of the takeover, with 77.83% of shareholders present and voting. However, a minimum of 75% approval was required to proceed with the scheme of arrangement. The vote fell short of approval due to AustralianSuper’s 17% stake and support from other shareholders.

AustralianSuper released a statement on Monday, welcoming the rejection of the deal but expressing support for Origin’s future, offering capital for the company’s upcoming ventures.

Following the trading halt on Monday, Origin’s shares were down 3.9% from Friday’s closing price. They are expected to face renewed pressure, especially after Reuters reported that Brookfield had no plans to return with another takeover offer, citing concerns about the Australian government’s new clean energy policy impacting Origin’s future earnings.

In an ASX statement announcing the final vote results, Origin’s Chair, Scott Perkins, expressed optimism about the company’s future, emphasising shareholder confidence in Origin’s business, assets, and strategic positioning for the energy transition.

Despite opposing the deal, AustralianSuper indicated its readiness to provide financial assistance to Origin, highlighting the company’s strategic assets and its commitment to working with Origin’s board and executive team to support Australia’s energy transition over the coming decades.

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