21 Feb 2022

AGL reject takeover bid from billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, who plans to shut down coal plants

21 Feb 2022  by   
Energy giant AGL has rejected a surprise $8 billion offer from tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and a Canadian asset management company, who want to shut down the company's coal power plants earlier than planned.

This morning AGL shares jumped 11 per cent, as news of the speculative bid emerged.

It is understood Mr Cannon-Brookes is forking out 20 per cent of the $8 billion, with asset manager Brookfield shouldering the remaining 80 per cent.

The Liddell Power Station, left, and Bayswater Power Station, coal-powered thermal power station are pictured near Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley, Australia on Nov. 2, 2021. Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison has launched a billion Australian dollar ($738 million) investment fund to fast track emerging low emissions technologies including carbon capture and storage, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/MarkBaker) (AP)

AGL's coal plants are thought to be responsible for eight per cent of Australia's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Mr Cannon-Brookes has been a long-time and very vocal critic of Australia's action on lowering carbon emissions.

The bid from Mr Cannon-Brookes and Brookfield would see AGL fast-track the transition away from coal in favour of renewables.

That plan would involve shuttering coal plants much earlier than expected.

The AGL board met to consider the offer on Sunday, and today it was rejected.

Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes is a renewable energy investor and advocate for greater action on the climate crisis. (Nine)

Last week Origin Energy announced Eraring will cease to operate as a coal-fired power station from 2025. (Nick Moir)

Speaking on the campaign trail in Tasmania, Prime Minister Scott Morrison today appeared in no mood to shut down coal plants at a more rapid pace.

"Let me be clear about something, we need to ensure that our coal-fired generation of electricity runs to its life," he said.

"Because if it doesn't, electricity prices go up. They don't go down."


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