Atlassian co-founder and billionaire investor Mike Cannon-Brookes has loaned Sun Cable, the startup behind a $30 billion project to send solar energy to Singapore, $65 million to keep operating while the company’s volunteer trustees manage the company. want to sell.
Cannon-Brookes is providing the interest-free loan through his family capital firm, Grok Ventures, after the managers, FTI Consulting, sought short-term funding to to continue Sun Cable’s business.
Grok is one of the cornerstone investors in Sun Cable alongside mining billionaire Dr. Andrew Forest.
But the company was placed under voluntary governance earlier this month after the billionaires split over the strategic vision for the energy startup.
The pair are now both eyeing the company as the trustees put it up for sale.
The ambitious Sun Cable Australia-Asia PowerLink (AAPowerLink) is a 17-20 gigawatt (GW) solar farm and 42 GWh battery storage facility in the Northern Territory, connected to the world’s longest submarine High Voltage Direct Current cable system, measuring approximately 4,200 km from Darwin to Singapore along the Indonesian archipelago. The solar park is about four times the size of the current Snow Hydro plan.
Dr. Forrest wants to scrap the submarine cable project because it carries too much “sovereign risk” to focus instead on supplying Singapore with green hydrogen. Grok and Cannon-Brookes support the AAPowerLink concept.
The AAPowerLink project could generate up to A$2 billion in exports for Australia annually and reduce around 8.6 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually, so Cannon-Brookes is excited about its potential.
The trustees held a creditors’ meeting on Jan. 20, selected Cannon-Brookes’ financing offer and said the sale process would begin in late January and is expected to take about three months.
With the company having no real revenue — and other ongoing projects on its books — keeping the team and their intellectual property together on such major infrastructure projects will be critical to Sun Cable’s continued viability
John Park, Leader Australia, Corporate Finance & Restructuring for FTI Consulting said there was strong interest in Sun Cable.
“As managers, we have tried to preserve Sun Cable’s value and keep all options on the table for the future of the project. We will try to crystallize the interest in Sun Cable’s future into a final offer in favor of creditors and other stakeholders through the sale process,” he said.
“Ultimately, the successful bidder will have the opportunity to move the business forward in line with its vision.”
Park said a second meeting of creditors would normally be held on Feb. 14, but they will request an extension during the sale process.