Brookfield gains extra time to seal $12 bln bid for Australia's Origin Energy

MELBOURNE, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Australia's Origin Energy Ltd (ORG.AX) on Wednesday reassured shareholders that Canada's Brookfield Asset Management, leading an A$18.4 billion ($12.3 billion) takeover offer, had not found any deal breakers in its books so far, which boosted its shares.

Australia's top energy retailer and no.2 power producer said it had extended its suitors' exclusivity period to Jan. 16 to give them more time over the end-of-year holiday period to finalise their offer of A$9.00 a share.

"The Consortium has confirmed that it is on track to complete its due diligence early in the new year, it has not identified any material adverse matters to date, and it continues to work on confirming its Indicative Proposal," Origin said in a statement.

Brookfield and its bidding partner MidOcean Energy, backed by private equity firm EIG, were aware of Origin's statement, a spokesperson for the consortium said, with no further comment.

Origin's shares jumped 6% to A$7.50, outpacing a 1.4% rise in the broader market (.AXJO).

The stock had been trading more than 20% below the offer price amid speculation the consortium might walk away from the deal after the government this month moved to cap gas and coal prices to drive down power bills.

RBC Capital Markets analysts, who earlier raised concern that the government's market intervention could derail the deal, on Wednesday said they think "the market has overstated the potential impact of deal completion risk".

If the takeover goes ahead, it would one of the biggest private equity-backed buyouts of an Australian company and the largest deal in the country this year.

Brookfield is looking to speed up Origin's transition to cleaner energy, while MidOcean Energy wants Origin's gas business as the base for a new global liquefied natural gas (LNG) company.

($1 = 1.4975 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Additional reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Licoln Feast

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