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AGL (ASX:AGL) share price drops amid Kaluza partnership and $150 million investment

The AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL) share price is down 2% after the business announced a partnership with Kaluza.

AGL is a large energy generator and retailer, while Kaluza is a “scalable, flexible and proven technology platform that digitises and simplifies energy billing”, which reduces the cost to serve customers and enables faster product innovation to facilitate the energy transition.

Partnership

AGL has entered into an agreement with Kaluza to transform its customer operations as part of an initiative to improve the customer and agent experience, significantly reduce operating costs and improve the ‘speed to market’.

This deployment onto the Kaluza platform will be done over the next three years. The estimated implementation costs for the residential and small business customer solution component of its ‘retail transformation program’ will be approximately $300 million over four financial years, starting in FY24. While pricey, AGL shares could benefit if it increases the company’s profit margins.

This excludes AGL’s large business customers, and AGL will continue to consider transformation options for these customers.

Investment

AGL is going to invest approximately A$150 million into Kaluza to fund the next phase of the platform company’s growth.

After this investment, AGL will hold approximately 20% of Kaluza and have input into the strategic direction of Kaluza with representation on the board. Some of the capital will be used to accelerate Kaluza’s international expansion.

Management commentary

The AGL CEO Damien Nicks said:

The technology market is changing materially with the emergence of new core utility platforms offering greater flexibility and speed, which makes it imperative to partner with industry leaders, and is why we have chosen Kaluza.

Final thoughts on the AGL share price

This seems like a good move by AGL, as it will improve the operations of the business and it also can benefit from the growth of Kaluza, if it achieves success.

I think AGL could be undervalued if it’s able to capitalise on the growing demand for energy due to data centres, Australia’s growing population, electric vehicles and so on.

However, AGL shares could be one of the more volatile shares with how energy prices can change.

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