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Australia's Origin appoints Macquarie for potential gas demerger: sources

[SYDNEY] Origin Energy has appointed Macquarie Capital to advise on a potential spin-off of Origin's gas production businesses, including its US$25 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Australia's largest energy retailer believes shareholders receive little benefit from owning an integrated business which includes a stake in the debt-saddled Asia Pacific LNG, power plants and a power and gas retail business, one source said.

The spin-off would shift debt to the gas production business and help protect Origin's investment-grade credit rating, which is currently one notch above junk, the source said.

Both sources declined to be named as the matter was confidential. Origin and Macquarie declined to comment.

REUTERS