Origin acquires Integral Energy, Country Energy retail businesses

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Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) had completed the acquisition of the Integral Energy and Country Energy retail businesses from the NSW State-owned energy network businesses and entered into binding GenTrader arrangements with Eraring Energy.

Origin Managing Director Grant King said, "The acquisition of Integral Energy and Country Energy’s retail businesses and entering into the binding GenTrader arrangements with Eraring Energy, is a transformational event in the ongoing growth of Origin.

Origin is now Australia's largest energy retailer with 4.6 million customer accounts. It has one of the country’s largest and most flexible generation portfolios with more than 5,800 MW of capacity, through either owned generation or contracted rights.

"The retail businesses and generation arrangements we have acquired add substantially to the integrated position Origin occupies in the Australian energy market. The GenTrader arrangements provide access to a highly reliable and flexible generation portfolio, which will support Origin's expanded retail customer base, Mr King said.

Completion of this transaction will also create additional opportunities for growth across the Origin business.

"Origin looks forward to serving our new customers and providing a range of products and services to help them best manage their energy use,” said Mr King.

"From today, this transaction is expected to be materially accretive to underlying earnings per share1, delivering immediate benefits to shareholders.

"At the time of announcing the $3.25 billion transaction in December 2010, Origin advised that it would be funded through new debt facilities, with the expectation that these facilities would be partly refinanced with a pro-rata equity offering. Origin reconfirms this intention," Mr King said.

Combined, Integral Energy and Country Energy have more than 1.6 million electricity customer accounts, 33,000 natural gas customer accounts and 9,000 LPG customer accounts.

Eraring Energy's operations include the Eraring Power Station and the Shoalhaven Scheme, which together currently supply approximately 7 per cent of annual energy to the NEM.