Mike Cannon-Brookes and Andrew Forrest: Billionaires’ marriage bust-ups

It is impossible not to draw parallels between Cannon-Brookes’ marriage breakdown and last week’s announcement that fellow billionaire Andrew Forrest had separated from his wife Nicola.

To be clear, marriage breakdown may make them kindred spirits but Cannon-Brookes and Forrest are anything but friends – they came to blows this year as co-investors in a giant solar project Sun Cable. Cannon-Brookes ultimately prevailed but not without a burst of acrimony between the pair.

The bigger concern would arise if Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar are not in unison on Atlassian strategy.

However, there are plenty of parallels – some of them are common to almost all the super-rich, but not all.

In particular, Forrest and Cannon-Brookes are Australia’s highest profile environmental evangelists.

Forrest is dedicating 10 per cent of the profit from iron ore company Fortescue Metals to an array of projects, mostly around developing carbon solutions, and his private company Tattarang has direct investments in green energy projects and mining materials that are crucial to the green economy.

Cannon-Brookes has also invested heavily in the green economy – his noisiest foray was taking an 11 per cent position in the country’s largest emitter, AGL, forcing out most of its board and management to accelerate its transition to renewable energy.

Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes had been married for 13 years.

Unsurprisingly, Forrest and Cannon-Brookes have extensive property investments, from houses to rural properties, across the country – each worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Both families can lay claim to owning a tropical island paradise – Annie Cannon-Brookes has Dunk Island while Forrest owns Lizard Island.

(Forrest has a private jet but Cannon-Brookes flies commercial.)

Both have announced moves in philanthropy. Cannon-Brookes’ charity is earmarked for climate action while Forrest has diversified his giving across numerous causes – including climate and reducing plastics in the ocean, efforts on anti-slavery, early childhood welfare and the rebuilding of Ukraine’s infrastructure. The Forrests have signed a pledge to give away most of their wealth.

Forrest recently gifted $5 billion to the charitable trust he founded with Nicola, the largest single donation in Australia’s history.

Where the respective marriage busts-ups are concerned, there are also plenty of differences.

The Forrests appear to have been working on the structure of their post-separation finances for a while. Nicola will now own half of Tattarang, which is the company that holds the family’s holding in Fortescue, and she received an additional 50 million shares in the iron ore miner, making her its largest shareholder.


Those close to Cannon-Brookes say the split of the empire has not yet been finalised as the separation is more recent.

Perhaps the biggest difference is the size of the respective Cannon-Brookes and Forrest fortunes.

Cannon-Brookes’ wealth stems primarily from his ownership of Atlassian, a software company based in the US that doesn’t pay dividends. He recently decided to sell out of much of his listed investment portfolio to focus on renewables.

The Forrest family’s 37 per cent stake in Fortescue is a massive cash generator. Forrest took home more than $2.34 billion in dividends in the 2022 financial year. It won’t earn him as much in 2023, but neither will the dividend contribution be shabby.

Think of it as the birth of two new billionaires rather a demotion in the rich-list rankings for Forrest and Cannon-Brookes.

The Business Briefing newsletter delivers major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion. Sign up to get it every weekday morning.

Source link

Denial of responsibility! galaxyconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.