Brookfield and Cannon-Brookes make joint bid for AGL

Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes in baseball cap (suncable)
Grok Ventures principal Mike Cannon-Brookes

Canadian asset manager Brookfield and Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes have reportedly joined forces to made a bid for AGL Energy, with a view to closing the company’s coal-fired power stations earlier than scheduled, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The pair are reported to have submitted a non-binding and indicative offer over the weekend, which is being considered by AGL Energy’s board.

Related article: Australia’s largest coal plant will close seven years early—but there’s still no national plan for coal’s inevitable demise

“The bid values AGL Energy at about $8 billion, including debt, or $7.50 a share, which was a 4.7 per cent premium to AGL Energy shares’ last close and a 20 per cent premium to its 30 day average traded price,” the AFR report said.

Brookfield and Cannon-Brookes’ bid is to acquire AGL Energy in full before the company’s demerger goes ahead.

While AGL Australia is committed to a net-zero goal by 2047, Brookfield and Cannon-Brookes reportedly want to bring that forward by at least 10 years.

Brookfield’s is one of the world’s largest investors in renewable power, having led an $18 billion consortium bid for Victoria’s electricity and gas distributor AusNet in 2021.

Related article: ‘Highly exaggerated’: experts debunk Morrison Govt’s claim of 53,000 fewer jobs from coal and gas ban

Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has been vocal about his desire to see Australia decarbonise as quickly as possible, pledging $1.5 billion of his personal wealth towards this goal.

The bid comes after Origin’s shock announcement late last week that it intended to close Eraring—Australia’s largest coal-fired power station—in 2025.

UPDATE 21/2/22: The AGL board has rejected Brookfield and Cannon-Brookes’ bid, saying it “materially undervalues” the company and was not in shareholders’ best interests.

Previous articleAustralia’s largest coal plant will close seven years early—but there’s still no national plan for coal’s inevitable demise
Next articleFuture Fuels funding round open for fleets