Cannon-Brookes is not AGL's saviour

SOMEONE should remind Mike Cannon-Brookes that people who lie down with dogs invariably end up with fleas.

 Cannon-Brookes may have a beard but he is no messiah.

Cannon-Brookes may have a beard but he is no messiah.

MC-B's credibility as a cashed-up climate change warrior may be about to take a battering.

The billionaire Atlassian co-founder has launched an undercooked $8 billion bid for AGL with the intent of disposing of its three coal-fired power stations supposedly because he cares for the planet.

Instead, he wants to spend up to $20 billion in replacing it with renewable energy and help drag Australia into line with the Net Zero by 2030 target.

The AGL board did not waste time in rejecting the low-ball offer.

Despite the fact that he is so wealthy that he could have paid the $8 billion he is offering out of his pocket change, Cannon-Brookes has decided to team with Canadian asset manager Brookfield.

However, Cannon-Brookes, who has been busy snapping up Sydney harbour-side multimillion dollar mansions, should have done his due diligence on Brookfield's green credentials.

Firstly they are big investors in gas pipelines and a nuclear services company that is at odds with Cannon-Brooke's carefully honed narrative that the two are launching the takeover on behalf of the planet.

Also, Brookfield already owns Australian transmission operator AusNet Services and a takeover of AGL may fall foul of the ACCC.

Then there is the issue of job security for the thousands of workers affected by the closure of the power stations.

Cannon-Brookes claims his takeover of AGL and its move to renewables would create up to 12,000 jobs with most of them in the construction phase.

Despite MC-B's friendship with opposition Anthony Albanese through their mutual involvement with the South Sydney rugby league team, he has yet to spell out in enough detail what this could mean for jobs and how displaced workers would be retrained.

Albo left it to Mining and Energy Union general president Tony Maher to question whether the merger would be good for local jobs.

"Whether it's Mike Cannon-Brookes or anyone else, any bidder for AGL better have a plan for the workforce," Maher told the Australian Financial Review.

"It's not good enough for decisions about the future of power stations to be made on share price alone while workers and communities are ignored. Investors have a responsibility to the people that have kept these power stations operating for decades."

Cannon-Brookes presents himself as some sort of latter-day Messiah of the climate change movement.

Hogsback suspects the reality could be that he is a new age oligarch working in tandem with large global asset managers to exploit public opinion on climate issues to make outsize profits at the expense of the existing workforce and electricity future customers.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.

A growing series of reports, each focused on a key discussion point for the mining sector, brought to you by the Mining Monthly Intelligence team.


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