Heads roll at Aussie power giant after green takeover bid

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Australia’s biggest carbon emitter AGL abruptly announced on Monday the departure of its chairman, CEO and a string of board members, while scrapping a long-planned move to spin off its lucrative coal business.

In a statement to investors, the company said Peter Botten would resign as chairman and Graeme Hunt would step down as CEO when a replacement is found. Operations at AGL — Australia’s largest energy company — have been under fierce scrutiny since billionaire green activist Mike Cannon-Brookes tried to buy the firm for about US$6 billion.

AGL rejected the bid in March, saying the offer was “well below the fair value of the company”. Cannon-Brookes, a 42-year-old tech mogul, launched his audacious bid to acquire the company in order to shutter its highly-polluting coal-fired power plants and repurpose the network to focus on renewables.—AFP

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