Media Release

Tuesday 3 May 2022


  • Grok Ventures believes the AGL demerger is a flawed plan, that will destroy shareholder value
  • Grok Ventures urges fellow AGL shareholders to vote against the demerger
  • Keeping the company together is the first step to putting AGL back at the forefront of energy generation in Australia

Grok Ventures[1] (“Grok”), announces it and its affiliates have acquired a more than 11% interest[2] in AGL Energy Limited (“AGL”) making it the largest shareholder in the company. Grok intends to vote every AGL share that it controls at the relevant time against the demerger, and actively encourages all AGL shareholders to do the same.

In voting against the demerger, Grok fundamentally believes there can be a better future for AGL, one which creates opportunities and value for the company and its shareholders. It will mean accelerating the transition to net-zero while delivering reliable and affordable energy for customers.

Mike Cannon-Brookes, Principal of Grok, said keeping AGL together is the only way to put the company back at the forefront of energy generation in Australia:

“We are at a critical point in Australia’s energy transition, and in AGL’s future. This is about delivering cheap, reliable and clean energy to millions of families and businesses. We believe by keeping the company together, AGL can continue its long and proud history as a pioneer through energy market transitions.”

Grok firmly believes the AGL Board has made a series of mistakes and was far too slow to act on decarbonisation or adopt new technologies, which has resulted in this sub-optimal demerger plan:

“By not transitioning fast enough away from fossil fuels, the board has presided over AGL’s value plummeting to the tune of almost 70% in five years.[3]

“Sweating old coal plants which are expensive to run, and increasingly breakdown like we’re seeing today with Loy Yang A is not economical or responsible. It makes no sense...or cents.”

Grok firmly believes the demerger will create two weaker, interdependent companies with significant operating risk and dis-synergies. Grok suggests Accel Energy will not be able to fund its transition or meet its liabilities due to high leverage, thermal coal exposure, significant remediation costs and a reduced appetite for coal exposure from equity and debt investors.

“We intend to vote every AGL share we control at the relevant time against the demerger, and we call on fellow AGL shareholders to vote against the demerger to avoid further value destruction,” Cannon-Brookes said.
Grok has written to the AGL Board as the company’s largest shareholder, outlining why it has taken this action and saying it welcomes constructive discussion on more value-accretive alternatives, if AGL is kept together.

Grok encourages all AGL shareholders and other interested stakeholders to visit to read the reasons why Grok strongly believes the demerger represents a terrible outcome for AGL shareholders, AGL customers, Australian taxpayers and Australia.

[1] Grok Ventures is a business name used by the private investment group controlled by Mike Cannon-Brookes. "Grok Ventures" is a registered business name of Cannon-Brookes Services Pty Limited (ACN 616 170 542). An affiliate of Cannon-Brookes Services Pty Limited, the Galipea Partnership, is the holder of a more than 11% interest in AGL Energy Limited. References in this letter to "we" or "our" or similar expressions in the context of views beliefs or opinions contained, or referred to, in this letter are the views, beliefs or opinions of [Mike Cannon-Brookes] and Cannon-Brookes Services Pty Limited current only as at the date of this letter. This letter does not purport to contain the views, opinions and beliefs of any other entity controlled by, or affiliated with, directly or indirectly, Mike Cannon-Brookes or any other person.

[2] Further detail is set out in our substantial holder notice lodged with the ASX and separately provided to AGL

[3] IRESS based on the closing price of AGL’s shares of $26.76 on 28 April 2017 and $8.68 on 29 April 2022.

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