Mike Cannon-Brookes Invests $461M In AGL To Block Merger

May 3, 2022 | Billionaire News

Mike Cannon-Brookes

Grok Ventures, owned by billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, has purchased an 11.3 percent interest in AGL Energy through derivative transactions.

Grok acquired 56.78 million AGL shares at $8.62 apiece through Galipea Partnership, according to a regulatory filing on Monday. It also bought 19.1 million shares at A$8.46 apiece from a US firm.

The deal would allow Mike Cannon-Brookes to oppose AGL’s attempt to separate its energy retailing and generating assets. The plan will be put to a vote by shareholders next month.

Australia’s energy transformation and AGL’s future are at a crossroads, Cannon-Brookes said. This is about providing affordable, dependable, and clean electricity to millions of people. We think that by keeping the firm intact, AGL can continue its historic heritage as a market pioneer.”

Mike Cannon-Brookes said Grok will vote against the “flawed demerger” plan and urged other shareholders to do so.

Grok also slammed AGL’s board for being hesitant to decarbonize and accept new technology.

In five years, AGL’s value has fallen by around 70% due to the board’s failure to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels. Old coal plants that are expensive to run and gradually break down like Loy Yang A are neither economical nor responsible. No sense…or cents.”

Grok’s largest AGL share acquisition comes after the utility rejected two takeover bids earlier this year from a consortium led by Cannon-Brookes and Brookfield Asset Management Inc. The partners expected to speed AGL’s transition away from coal power and reach net-zero emissions approximately a decade early

Together with mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, Mike Cannon-Brookes is a significant sponsor of Sun Cable, marketed as the world’s biggest solar project. Sun Cable is building a massive solar farm in the Australian Northern Territory desert to bring power to Darwin and Singapore by 2026.

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