Australia’s biggest energy producer could scrap controversial plan to carve off its coal-fired power stations after relentless campaign by greenie tech billionaire
- AGL was set to ask shareholders to vote on June 15 over a possible demerger
- However, sources say the company could instead announce a strategic review
- It comes amid speculation the initial proposal did not garner enough support
- Tech billionaire and greenie Mike Cannon-Brookes is AGL’s largest shareholder
- The anti-coal activist embarked on a relentless campaign against the demerger
Australia’s biggest energy producer AGL could scrap a controversial plan to carve off its coal-fired power stations amid growing concerns over the proposal.
The power giant was set to take a possible demerger to vote on June 15, with 75 per cent of shareholders votes needed to proceed.
But the company could instead announce a strategic review on Monday amid speculation that a division into separate retail and generation units may not have enough support from shareholders.
The electrical company was considering its options on Sunday, sources told The Australian, including the possibility of announcing a strategic review that would boost the chances of AGL being sold off.
AGL could scrap a controversial plan to divide its coal-fired power plants amid speculation the demerger did not garner enough support from shareholders
The news comes after tech billionaire and green advocate Mike Cannon-Brookes embarked on a relentless high-profile campaign against the demerger.
Mr Cannon-Brookes, who is an anti-coal activist and pro renewable energy, is AGL’s biggest investor, owning a 11.3 per cent stake.
Earlier this month, the Atlassian founder and climate change activist – who is worth an estimated $20billion – warned Aussies their power bills were about to soar as the war in Ukraine drives up the cost of coal and gas worldwide.
Speaking to the Today show, Mr Cannon-Brookes said there were two reasons for the price hike as he called for more renewable energy sources, like wind and solar farms, to be built.
‘The first is because of the prices of coal and gas and we have so much fossil fuel-generated energy in our grid. That will drive your bill up,’ he said.
Mike Cannon-Brookes (pictured with his wife Annie) was a high-profile opponent of AGL’s proposed demerger
‘Secondly is because of the unreliability of the coal-power plants we have. We see that at the moment.
‘The faster we can move Australia to decarbonise to renewables, the quicker we can bring your bill down which will help towards your day-to-day costs of living.’
More to come.