An A$8bn (€5bn) cash bid from a consortium led by Brookfield Asset Management to acquire Australian energy supplier AGL Energy has been rejected.

The consortium made the bid over the weekend, seeking to take over the company and to fast-track a planned shift to net carbon neutral by 2035 by replacing AGL’s coal-fired power stations with renewable energy.

The consortium, backed by Australian tech entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brooks, offered A$7.50 per share for the 180-year company.

Cannon-Brookes, who is building a cable to carry solar energy from Australia to Singapore and other Asian countries, told the media after the rejection that the consortium would continue to engage with the board and to canvass support from investors.

Speaking to the national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Commission, he said the consortium had a budget of A$20bn to spend creating renewable assets, and that the consortium’s proposal offered AGL shareholders the best outcome.

The AGL Energy board said the unsolicited proposal “materially” undervaluing the company and was not in the best interests of AGL Energy shareholders.

AGL Energy chairman, Peter Botten, said the board remained committed to establishing two separately listed businesses, AGL Australia and Accel Energy – one to own AGL’s renewable assets and the other the “old dirty” assets.

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