Australian entrepreneur, Mike Cannon-Brookes, has made a stir in Australia’s energy sector after announcing his intentions to purchase fossil fuel energy company, AGL.
The 42-year-old co-founder of software company, Atlassian, and business partner Brookfield, a Canadian investment management company, originally bid a whopping eight billion Australian dollars for 100% of the Australian energy company earlier this year.
The consortium’s bid of $8B Australian dollars was made to AGL in hopes of being able to stop the company from using fossil fuels by 2035, as well as to push a further $20B into renewable energy and storage efforts.
In recent weeks, the public face of the multi-billion-dollar bid, Mr Cannon-Brookes, has stated his bullishness for the opportunity to transform the company. Speaking to Channel 10’s The Project on the 21st of February, the billionaire entrepreneur said:
“it (AGL) happens to be Australia’s largest emitter (of fossil fuels), about 8% of Australia’s emissions. As a single company, is more than the emissions of Sweden, Ireland, or New Zealand. The opportunity to transform that rapidly is pretty amazing and the fact we can do it economically, we’re incredibly bullish on that potential”.
AGL, who emits Australia’s highest amount of greenhouse gas, at just over 42.2 million tonnes, rejected the consortium’s initial bid of $8B on the 21st of February.
After the rejection of the initial bid by the energy company, Mr Cannon-Brookes told ABC’s Leigh Sales in an interview, that he would continue to collaborate with AGL:
“We’re continuing to present our case to work with shareholders, work with the company, and obviously any other stakeholders in terms of federal and state governments in various states, to explain our plan”.
Following the rejection of their initial attempt to purchase, Mr Cannon-Brookes and Co. launched a secondary, $9B bid for the company, a 10% increase.
The efforts to purchase the greenhouse emissions giant, this time for $9B, were once again rejected by the AGL after the company held “emergency discussions”
AGL Chief Graeme Hunt has explained the reasoning behind the rejections of both takeover bids:
“We believe both bids fell below the fair value of the company. Its clear the consortium sees value in the energy transition and sees value in the business – the issue is they don’t want shareholders to benefit from that value”
After having both multi-billion-dollar takeover bids rejected by the energy company, Mike Cannon-Brookes stated he and Brookfield have planned to walk away, stating in a tweet “The Brookfield-Grok consortium looking to take private and transform AGL is putting our pens down – with great sadness”.