Monday, 28 Nov 2022

AGL shareholders will speak this week and Australias energy market will be listening

AGL shareholders will speak this week and Australias energy market will be listening


AGL shareholders will speak this week  and Australias energy market will be listening

AGL Energy's annual general meeting is on at the Melbourne Recital Centre this Tuesday - and remaining executives running Australia's biggest electricity producer are hoping the shareholder gathering provides a rousing finale for what's been a tumultuous year.

The opening act was February's unsolicited takeover bid by Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Rebuffed, the tech billionaire returned in May to snap up 11% of AGL's shares and then stymie the company's plan to split. His encore in September brought demands via his family firm Grok Ventures to add four "independent" faces to the five-member board.

The AGM will determine if those board picks get up. Also on the line will be AGL's Climate Transition Action Plan, which management argues is the latest best way to wean the nation's biggest greenhouse gas polluter off fossil fuels. Grok insists it is too slow.

On show too may be the final big demonstration of shareholder activism in Australia's electricity generation space.

If last week's takeover bid of Origin Energy by two investor groups succeeds, all but AGL among the big power producers will be held either by private companies or state and federal governments. AGL could yet end up in Grok's or other private hands.

Ructions for AGL from Tuesday's votes could also reverberate across the national electricity market that serves eastern Australia, and the power bills that go with it.

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