Home Private Equity Brookfield’s infra, private equity arms involved in AGL buying

Brookfield’s infra, private equity arms involved in AGL buying


The company’s board – and the boards of the other entities in the chain – includes a combination of Brookfield infrastructure and private equity types.

Its directors are Stewart Upson (Brookfield’s regional head of infrastructure), Len Chersky (Brookfield’s Australian PE boss) and Jingyao Daniel Cheng, a managing director in the firm’s renewable power and transition group and based in China.

Street Talk has seen plenty of Brookfield entity filings in the past decade – they’re required whenever the firm makes a new move, for legal and tax structuring reasons.

It’s rare to see Upson and Chersky – two of its big-name Australian dealmakers – on the same board. Brookfield usually chases assets via either infrastructure or private equity, not both.

Risky business

AGL’s obviously a unique situation: part hard asset play, part big retail operating business, part turnaround, part growth. It doesn’t fit into the traditional infrastructure or private equity channels.

While the name “123456789 4 Pty Ltd” is a bit mysterious, it traces directly back to Brookfield, an investment manager whose business isn’t normally about buying minority interests in ASX-listed companies.

The Canadians would have known AGL and its bankers would quickly discover its equity interest, and think it confirmed all suspicions and reports that it was still watching the company closely.

Brookfield probably didn’t expect the stake to be disclosed. AGL though, in need of a win following its demerger debacle, must have thought it was in the best interests of shareholders.

There was also no trace of Mike Cannon-Brookes or Grok Ventures – the entity with which Brookfield made joint bids for AGL earlier this year – in the filings.

Brookfield’s understood to have acquired the shares this month. The firm didn’t want to comment on AGL’s disclosure on Thursday.

Interestingly, Citigroup’s equities desk, the country’s No.8 broker by cash equities market shares, has done more trading in AGL shares than any other broker this month.

Citi advised Brookfield on its AGL bid, and is understood to have been buying on its behalf.

AGL shares traded at $7.95 to $8.88 a pop in the first three weeks of June. Brookfield and Grok offered $8.25 on an indicative and non-binding basis in March.

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