AGL’s rejection of takeover bid driven by ideological obsession with coal, locks

Greenpeace

AGL’s, Australia’s biggest climate polluter, rejection of a bid by tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes and international asset manager Brookfield to buy the company and fast-track its coal closure confirms AGL’s ideological obsession with coal at the cost of the environment and its shareholders, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.

The consortium’s sweetened offer of $8.25 per share followed an initial bid two weeks prior. It proposed investing between $10 billion and $20 billion in large-scale renewable energy and batteries to enable earlier closure of AGL’s coal-fired power stations that account for more than 8 per cent of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

David Ritter, CEO of Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said the rejected bid represents yet another failure by AGL’s leadership, who continue to demonstrate an outdated, evidence-free obsession with burning dirty coal.

“The proposed demerger by AGL makes no environmental or financial sense. Rather than grab an opportunity to address both, AGL has prioritised its ideological obsession with coal over the interests of its customers, shareholders, employees, and the environment.

“AGL has consistently failed to read the market, the pace of the energy transition, and the extent of its environmental damage.

“The energy market is shifting at lightning speed away from coal, as shown by Origin’s recent announcement that it will close the Eraring coal-burning power station by 2025.

“But instead of grasping a lifeline and taking the path to inevitable decarbonisation, AGL has chosen to move ahead with a demerger that makes no environmental or financial sense.

“This is yet another failure of AGL’s leadership and CEO Graeme Hunt, who will now have to answer to shareholders angry about the company’s plunging share price and abysmal environmental record.

“AGL has destroyed $11 billion in shareholder value in the past five years. Instead of seizing the opportunities of the unstoppable energy transition, AGL has chosen to hide the company’s climate pollution behind a tokenistic and value-destructive dodgy demerger.”

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