Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has bought a significant chunk of the South Sydney Rabbitohs but exactly how much money he paid for it remains unknown.
The founder of Atlassian, who is worth an estimated $26billion, now owns a 25 per cent share in the famous NRL club, but he has kept the price tag a secret.
One source believes the figure is close to the $20 million mark.
According to the Daily Telegraph, fellow high profile part owners – media mogul James Packer and Hollywood actor Russell Crowe – were set to receive $10 million each following the recent injection from Cannon-Brookes.
Exactly how much money tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has poured into the South Sydney Rabbitohs is the question many people want to know
When quizzed on the subject, fellow part-owner Hollywood actor Russell Crowe danced around the question
The purchase comes after both men reduced their 37.5 per cent shareholding to 25 per cent to enable Cannon-Brookes to also enjoy a quarter share of the club.
Members of the Rabbitohs own the remaining quarter.
Crowe has remained tight-lipped, stating he was ‘not at liberty to discuss details’.
Eventually, ASIC documents will pinpoint exactly how much Cannon-Brookes handed over to Blackcourt League Investments, the company who owns 75 per cent of the Rabbitohs, for his share.
On November 15, it became public knowledge Cannon-Brookes had bought into Russell Crowe’s footy team after going on a lavish $70million rural Australian property spending spree.
The string of new investments take the philanthropist’s estimated wealth to $26billion, comfortably exceeding Packer’s net worth of $5billion.
Crowe said in a statement it was a ‘very strong move’ for the Rabbitohs, which he belives has pushed them into the upper echelon of sporting teams in Australia.
Cannon-Brookes revealed he was driven to continue the club’s historic legacy, and was ‘excited and humbled’ to be part of such an iconic sporting organisation.
Billionaire Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes has bought into the South Sydney Rabbitohs, becoming a 25 per cent owner alongside Russell Crowe and James Packer
Cannon-Brookes said there was renewed pressure at leading South Sydney and wanted to help to continue its proud history and important community work
Crowe says it is a ‘very strong move’ for the Rabbitohs and has pushed them into the upper echelon of sporting teams in the country with Cannon-Brookes coming onboard
‘The South Sydney Rabbitohs are special. Not only are we the oldest, loudest and proudest, we are an organisation people truly, deeply care about,’ he said.
‘I’m looking forward to partnering with Russell and James and bringing what I can to the table to help the club grow to even greater heights.’
Cannon-Brookes, who in 2020 became the first Australian to own an American sports team after buying a minority stake in NBA side the Utah Jazz, said there was renewed pressure at leading South Sydney.
‘It’s one thing to have a really great legacy culture – ‘the oldest, proudest, loudest’ is written pretty deeply in people’s psyches – but it also comes with a sense of that culture of continuing to improve,’ he said.
Souths were infamously booted out of the competition in 1999 after a series of financial problems, before a campaign led by Crowe began to see the game’s oldest and most successful club re-admitted.
They were re-instated in the NRL back in 2002 and 12 years later won the premiership in emotional scenes for the ‘pride of the league.’
Crowe revealed he’d been working to get Cannon-Brookes involved for some time and regularly had him appearing in public wearing Rabbitohs merchandise.
‘I’m sure it hasn’t gone unnoticed to South Sydney members and supporters that Mike wears a white Rabbitohs hat for special occasions,’ Crowe told News Corp.
‘This is a very strong move for the club. It connects us to the front edge of emerging technologies and business, and underlines the importance of our efforts in the community.
‘Mike understands the resonance of sport in Australia, and James and I welcome his input going forward in keeping South Sydney ahead of the curve, and a game leading organisation, on and off the field.’
Packer, who has amassed wealth across media and casinos, said he was excited Cannon-Brookes was coming aboard to help with the team’s community program.
‘I am really pleased that Mike is joining us, because I know how committed he is to the community, he will be a big asset and supporter of Souths Cares and all the important work they do,’ he said.
South Sydney won the NRL premiership in 2014 with Crowe emotional on the field with the players following the game
The tech boss’s latest buy is the $15.25million, 120 hectare Think Big Stud (pictured above and below) which was home to the 2008 Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup winner Viewed
It’s the latest acquisition in a massive $70million buy-up of property and land in the Southern Highlands, 120km south of Sydney, including Rosehill Farm, seen here above and below
Earlier in November, Cannon-Brookes bought out a Melbourne Cup-winning racehorse stud as part of his ambitious personal mission to make Australia greener.
The purchase of the $15.25million, 120-hectare Think Big Stud is the latest acquisition in a massive $70million buy-up of property and land in the Southern Highlands, 120km south of Sydney.
He is planning to transform the properties he buys into a green paradise using ‘regenerative agriculture’ – with part of his plan to encourage Australians to eat crickets and other insects.
The 41-year-old has already pledged $1.5billion to climate initiatives.
‘[I] have heavy investments in controlled environment agriculture because it turns electricity into farming,’ he tweeted.
’99 per cent less emissions from transport, 95 per cent less water and 95 per cent less land use.
‘Renewables make it continually better.’
He has also warned the world needs to change its eating habits by adding insects to its daily diet if the planet is to feed a global population of eight billion.
‘Insects are a huge part of a sustainable future,’ he said.
‘I’m a big fan of cricket flour and insect eating in general. The logic totally stacks up – Low planet footprint, high protein, sustainable etc.
‘Always looking for interesting opportunities in that space!’
The tech boss’s latest buy, the Think Big Stud, was home to the 2008 Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup winner Viewed, as well as other Group One champions.
Billionaire Atlassian boss Mike Cannon-Brookes, pictured here with wife Annie, has bought out a Melbourne Cup-winning racehorse stud as part of his personal mission to save the planet
The lavish Rosehill Farm owned by tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes in NSW
CRUNCHING THE DATA ON EATING CRICKETS
Cricket flour is a high protein flour
It is far less intensive to farm
It requires much less water than wheat
It is said to taste nutty but the flavour can be easily disguised
Crickets are killed by exposing them to low temperatures and putting them into stasis. They are then freeze-dried
You can also pan fry them for a tasty crunchy snack
They are said to be a highly nutritious and cheap source of protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and fibre
Atlassian boss Mike Cannon-Brookes believes they are the solution to feeding the world’s 8 billion people
The Southern Highlands property in Burradoo, near Moss Vale, was owned by Malaysian billionaire Dato Tan Chin Nam until his death in 2018, and is just the latest in a series of local acquisitions for the former Cranbrook schoolboy.
He has been snapping up a series of estates and properties in the area including the 258-hectare, 15-bedroom Wattle Ridge farm for $13million.
Mr Cannon-Brookes also has another 15-bedroom mansion, Cooliatta, also at Burradoo, for which he paid $3.9million, as well as Rosehill Farm, worth $5.9million, and two other farms including Widgee Waa which cost him $14.5million.
He now has at least seven properties or estates in the area – and is tipped to buy more.
The controversial Hume Coal mine planned for the Moss Vale area was finally blocked by the NSW Independent Planning Commission last month.
Now the massive South Korean-owned 1300 hectare estate has also been linked to the green billionaire as his next possible acquisition.
Mr Cannon-Brookes is number three on the AFR’s Rich List after founding the multinational company behind project management tools like Trello and Jira.
He has repeatedly slammed the Australian government for their approach to climate change – and blasted Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s plan that he took to COP26.
The Atlassian boss snapped up 15-bedroom Wattle Ridge farm (pictured) and its 258 hectares for $13million
Mike Canon-Brooked and his wife Annie splashed out another $14.5million for Widgee Waa farm (pictured)
‘I read all 129 pages of the pamphlet’ he tweeted. ‘It’s not worth the paper I didn’t print it on.
‘I understand technology damn well. This isn’t a ‘technology driven approach’. It’s inaction, misdirection and avoiding choices.
‘This is just ridiculously embarrassing.’
He and his wife Annie have vowed to transform their farmland into green-sensitive pastures.
‘Regenerative agriculture’ aims to tackle a holistic approach to farming by careful soil and water management and rethinking the approach to fertilisers.
It aims to ‘improve the resources it uses, rather than destroying or depleting them,’ say proponents, by rotating crops, diversifying and allowing paddocks to lie empty.
The tech boss also brings the latest technology to his farms too.
‘Regenerative agriculture’ aims to tackle a holistic approach to farming (pictured) by careful soil and water management and rethinking the approach to fertilisers
‘[I do] everything I can,’ he recently told the Sydney Morning Herald.
‘I drive an electric vehicle. I live on a farm that runs almost entirely on sunlight, electricity. I have electric farm vehicles up the wazoo.’
And he believes Australia could be the ‘Saudi Arabia of renewable electricity’ if the political will was there.
He added: ‘We could power the entire world five times over from the Australian sun that we have.
‘It’s a good measure of how large our country is, and how much great sun we have. We have a country almost designed to benefit most from the renewable boom.
‘And we have three billion consumers nearby who can take our sunlight when we ship it up to Asia. We absolutely can be a renewable energy superpower.’