MELBOURNE — Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes is seeking to buy an 11.5% stake in AGL Energy nearly two months after Australia’s top power producer rejected a A$5.4 billion ($3.8 billion) takeover offer from his Grok Ventures and Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management, according to a market statement from JPMorgan.
“Grok Ventures and its affiliates are looking to acquire a combined physical and economic interest in up to 11.5% of AGL Energy Limited shares as part of a strategic derivative transaction,” JPMorgan’s equity capital and derivatives markets division said in the information statement seen by Reuters .
The statement said if the transaction goes ahead, Grok would announce its interest in AGL before the opening of trade on Tuesday.
The bid for a stake by Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of software company Atlassian Corp, was first reported by the Australian Financial Review.
The intended share purchase appears to be aimed at building a blocking stake ahead of a vote by AGL shareholders on a plan to split the company, rather than as a precursor to trying to acquire the company, the Australian Financial Review said.
AGL will ask shareholders to vote in June on a plan to demerge into an energy retailer, called AGL Australia, and a coal-fired power generation company, called Accel Energy.
A spokesperson for Grok declined to comment on Cannon-Brookes’ intentions.
($1 = 1.4174 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Kim Coghill and Edwina Gibbs)