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Contact Energy/Origin Energy Exemption Application

News Release

11 May 2006

Panel Decision on Contact Energy/Origin Energy Exemption Application


Contact Energy Limited announced yesterday that it has received in-principle approvals for the exemptions from provisions of the Takeovers Code which it had sought in relation to a proposed merger transaction with Origin Energy Limited. The Panel wishes to clarify the nature of the exemptions sought and those which it has decided to grant.

The Panel has decided to grant exemptions to Contact Energy, Origin Energy and some other parties involved in the proposed transaction which will enable Contact to seek the approval of Contact shareholders for the proposed transaction under rule 7(d) of the Code.

The exemptions which the Panel has decided to grant are consistent with exemptions previously granted in like circumstances. The exemptions do not affect the rights of Contact shareholders to vote on the proposed transaction.

In addition to the exemptions which the Panel has decided to grant, Contact and Origin also sought other exemptions from the Code. These included exemptions which would have enabled certain parties involved in the proposed transaction to increase their control percentages in Contact at any time in the future upon the occurrence of a specified event without obtaining the express approval of Contact shareholders. The application in respect of such exemptions was declined because they were not consistent with the objectives of the Code.

Full details of the exemptions which the Panel has decided to grant in respect of this matter will be contained in an exemption notice which is currently being prepared. The exemption notice will be notified in the New Zealand Gazette and will appear on the Panel’s website once it is completed and signed.

ENDS

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