You may be aware that Origin recently acquired a number of energy businesses from the NSW Government including Integral Energy, Country Energy and Eraring GenTrader.
Origin is also planning to develop the Queensland Australian Pacific LNG (liquefied natural gas) project.
These developments have required significant capital funding, and Origin is meeting these needs via a share offer.
Origin plans to raise AU$2.3bn via a fully underwritten 1 for 5 pro-rata renounceable entitlement offer of new Origin shares at an offer price of $13 a share.
This discounted share price is approximately 17% less than the current market price (as at 28 March 2011) and one share is available to existing shareholders for every five shares they hold. New shares will rank equally with existing Origin shares.
Lonsec has reported that Queensland Australian Pacific LNG (APLNG) is the largest holder of coal-seam-gas reserves in Australia with over 11,00PJ. APLNG initially plans two 4.5mtpa LNG trains to be built in QLD. The project recently received government environmental approval for up to four LNG trains over a 49 year operating period.
In addition, APLNG recently signed a Heads of Agreement with Sinopec, China’s second largest oil and gas company to supply up to 4.3 million tonnes per annum of LNG for 20 years. Sinopec will also subscribe for a 15% ownership interest in APLNG, thereby reducing Origin’s equity interest from 50% to 42.5%.
In the near term, Lonsec expects APLNG to announce further LNG off-take agreements and to progress the agreements from non-binding to binding. This should be a major positive catalyst for the share price, depending on the terms of the contracts and the valuation of the APLNG equity.
Origin’s earnings continue to grow at a strong rate. Not only is the company yet to reap the benefits of a number of greenfield projects that come on-line in the short term but it also has two major growth projects (NSW Energy assets and APLNG) lined up. The scale of these projects means that its previously strong balance sheet has become stretched. As a result, the company has reached the point where it must raise some equity capital.
In the near term, this may limit share price gains but Lonsec is prepared to accept this in recognition of the substantial growth in earnings that the company is expected to deliver over the medium to long term. This means that overall, Lonsec believes that the discounted share price offers good value to shareholders.
For clients of 5 Financial, we will make contact with you shortly to advise if we recommend you take up the offer.
If you are not a client and you would like to discuss your current or prospective investments, contact us to book a free, no-obligation consultation.