Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has spent $650 million through his family investment company, Grok Ventures, for his stake in AGL, including $600 million in cash and $50 million in debt.
Atlassian’s co-founder and co-CEO is conducting a public campaign to halt a split plan for Australia’s largest energy company.
While its initial stake was in complex derivatives, meaning shareholders of the borrowed stock could “recall” it in the short term, Grok had JP Morgan execute $300 million in trades on Tuesday to gain full control of the stock. Grok now owns the shares.
“Grok has now invested approximately $650 million to build its relevant 11.28% stake in AGL stock, with nearly $600 million funded in cash and the remainder in debt,” said a Grok spokesperson.
“Only 1.21% remains subject to JPM’s right to recall shares under certain circumstances under stock lending. At this time, JPM has not yet recalled any shares.
“Given the success Grok has had in phasing out the collar position and reducing residual borrowing risk, Grok is confident they will be able to vote the full 11.28% against the split at the relevant time. They are asking their fellow shareholders to review the merits of the proposed split from the AGL Board and vote against.”
Yesterday, Cannon-Brookes wrote to AGL shareholders about the company’s “deeply flawed” split plan. Shareholders will vote on the proposal on June 15.
The tech billionaire said details of the merger proposal were released earlier this month.”confirms the board’s lack of leadership and a strategy that is missing one of Australia’s greatest economic opportunities, decarbonisation,” with the plan costing approximately $400-500 million.
“This lack of vision on the part of the board of directors is consistent with their track record of spending $0 in the past five years directly developing renewable generation,” he wrote.
Cannon-Brookes AGL is closing its coal plants by 2035 and questions whether the proposed coal spin-off Accel Energy will be financially viable.
AGL CEO Graeme Hunt replied that Cannon-Brookes is completely blocked and no plan.
“We have met with a number of investors and shareholders in the past few days and they are very concerned that Grok has not formulated a plan beyond sinking the split, and are also concerned that they may not disclose their plan because of what it would can do.” mean for shareholder value,” he said.
The Grok spokesperson also took a swipe at AGL’s directors, saying the board members have “no skin in the game” with combined ownership of less than 0.02% of the shares in the company.
“Grok begs the board of AGL to prepare for the future of AGL and the possible outcome that the split does not go through,” they said.