Origin Energy Ltd, Australia’s no.2 energy retailer and power producer, supports an A$18.4 billion ($11.8 billion) buyout offer from a consortium led by Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management.
If successful, the takeover would rank as one of the most significant private equity-backed buyouts of an Australian company and would be the largest deal in the nation this year, according to Refinitiv.
Brookfield and MidOcean Energy, its partner, backed by private equity firm EIG, said they see tremendous opportunities in Australia to invest in the transition to clean energy and view Origin’s assets as the way to get in.
Stewart Upson, Brookfield’s Asia Pacific Chief Executive Officer, said in a statement Brookfield and Origin together can support Australia’s multi-decade transition journey and accelerates their progress towards its emissions-reduction targets.
The acquisition requires Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) consent to proceed.
The offer comes just as the government of Australia is considering imposing price caps on gas to appease households and manufacturers suffering from soaring energy prices, partly due to the Ukraine war.
Origin has been looking to speed up its transition to cleaner energy, accelerating the planned shutdown of the nation’s largest coal-fired power plant and selling its gas exploration assets.