Origin shares on watch after takeover collapses

Shareholders have voted against this energy giant's takeover.

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Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) shares had a tough time on Monday before being placed in a trading halt.

The energy giant's shares were down 4% to $7.86 before going offline.

Why were Origins shares halted?

The company requested a trading halt this afternoon prior to the start of the scheme meeting that would decide the fate of its proposed takeover by Brookfield and EIG.

As you might have guessed from the weakness in its share price prior to the halt, this takeover vote appeared doomed before it had even started.

That's because the company's largest shareholder, AustralianSuper, planned to vote against the proposal, making it unlikely that it would receive the 75% of votes required to approve the deal.

As it turns out, the Brookfield and EIG proposal fell comfortably short of its target, with only 68.92% of the votes cast by shareholders in favour of the scheme resolution.

Origin's chair, Scott Perkins, commented:

Shareholders turned out in significant numbers to have their say on the future of the Origin. Throughout this process, the Board has focussed on ensuring all Origin shareholders recognise that their vote is important. While the scheme will not proceed, it was supported by many Origin shareholders. Importantly, this process has made clear the confidence all shareholders have in Origin's business, assets and people, and its strategic positioning for the energy transition.

AustralianSuper response

The company's largest shareholder was very pleased with the outcome. It commented:

AustralianSuper welcomes the decision by shareholders to vote against the takeover scheme from the Brookfield and EIG-backed consortium on the terms proposed in Origin's scheme booklet dated 19 October 2023.

AustralianSuper believes Origin has a highly strategic portfolio of assets to participate in, and for members to benefit from, the energy transition. We have never wavered in our belief that the value and future value of Origin is better in the hands of members and other shareholders rather than a private equity consortium seeking to make a quick return based on the proposed scheme terms and we are pleased that this is the outcome.

All eyes will be on Origin shares when they return to trade tomorrow now we have confirmation of the takeover collapse.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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