Signing off on a massive takeover bid
Australia’s competition watchdog has approved an $18.7 billion takeover of Origin Energy by a consortium led by fund manager Brookfield. The Canadian multinational switched its sights to Origin after launching an unsuccessful bid for rival energy giant AGL last year. Brookfield’s 45.4% stake in Victorian energy transmission firm AusNet meant questions needed to be answered about whether the takeover would reduce competition, but Origin will be independently audited as a condition of the deal. ACCC chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said the deal was “finely balanced”, with Brookfield’s commitment to invest up to $30 billion to accelerate the rollout of renewable energy projects a key factor in the watchdog’s approval. Investors liked the call, with Origin’s share price up 5.5% yesterday. Next up: the Foreign Investment Review Board…
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