BG Group lodges Bidder’s Statement setting out offer to acquire Origin Energy
BG Group today announced the lodging of a Bidder’s Statement with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission setting out details of the A$15.50 per share all-cash offer to acquire all of the issued shares in Origin Energy Limited (“Origin” – ASX:ORG). The Bidder’s Statement has been lodged by BG Group’s indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary, BG International (AUS) Investments 1 Pty Limited.
The Bidder’s Statement is available online at www.bg-group.com/origin.
BG Group Chief Executive Frank Chapman said: “We are pleased to be able to put to Origin shareholders directly the details of our all-cash offer.”
“Our offer gives shareholders the opportunity to secure a 72% premium*, which is particularly attractive in the current adverse market environment.”
“Origin withdrew its support for BG Group’s initial proposal and commenced an alternative but undefined gas monetisation process to ”test“ the value of its coal seam gas reserves - without any certainty that such a process would deliver superior value to Origin shareholders. That process may also result in an agreement which transfers assets or rights to a third party and therefore diminishes any control premium for Origin.”
“Origin’s alternative process may require it to commit to multi-billion dollar investments beyond its current balance sheet capacity and to manage risks of a nature and scale which would be unprecedented in its history. Sustained revenues from these investments may not arise until 2015 or 2016. Finding a joint venture partner would not remove these risks, and may add new uncertainties, such as partner misalignment and value migration.”
“In our view, Origin’s recent public statements have failed adequately to define its alternative and have failed properly to address the impact of reversionary rights, as well as the inherent risk in Origin’s reported reserves estimates. We believe that shareholders require a greater degree of clarity from Origin on these matters.”
“BG Group’s offer will remain open for a reasonable period.”
“Origin will need to give its shareholders the opportunity to vote on any alternative that it may wish to propose during our offer period. We would urge shareholders to weigh up their options carefully.”
“BG Group intends to invest in all of Origin’s Australian businesses and to retain Origin’s brand. We also plan to develop Origin’s employees, as well as create new jobs across the company.”
* 72% to the undisturbed volume weighted average price of Origin shares for the 90 days up to and including 29 April 2008 (the last trading day before the announcement of BG Group’s initial proposal) and a 47% premium above the closing price of A$10.47 for Origin shares that day.
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