Billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes buys collapsed mega solar project


Helietta Holdings—an investment vehicle controlled by tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Grok Ventures—has agreed to acquire the assets of Sun Cable, months after the project that was once touted as the world’s largest solar energy initiative went into liquidation amid shareholder disagreements.
Mike Cannon-Brookes is the cofounder and co-CEO of software company Atlassian. Image: Getty

The transaction is expected to be completed by end-July this year, Sun Cable’s administrator FTI Consulting, said in a statement on Friday. Financial details weren’t disclosed. The agreement with Helietta concludes months of deliberations led by FTI Consulting and their advisers Moelis & Co.

The $30 billion project—which involves plans to export solar-generated electricity from Australia to Singapore via a 4,200-kilometer undersea cable—was disrupted after Sun Cable went into voluntary administration in January. The company was originally backed by Cannon-Brookes and mining billionaire Andrew Forrest, but the key shareholders disagreed on the future direction of the project.

Once the agreement is completed, Cannon-Brookes—the cofounder of Sydney-based collaboration software firm Atlassian—intends to proceed with plans to initially deliver 900 megawatts of electricity to Darwin and 1.8 gigawatts to Singapore, FTI Consulting said. Sun Cable had said in October that it has already received commitments from potential customers in Singapore.

Cannon-Brookes, 43, has been stepping up investments in renewable energy as well as funding philanthropies fighting climate change. In May 2022, his Grok Ventures invested over A$500 million in AGL Energy, becoming the largest shareholder in one of Australia’s largest electricity producers and distributors.

The billionaire, with a net worth of about $10.9 billion according to Forbesreal-time data, has said he plans to accelerate AGL’s transition away from fossil fuels and into clean energy sources.

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