Deal agreed to privatise Green Investment Bank

Move will free the institution from public sector ownership, says minister

By Richard Johnstone

20 Apr 2017

The government has today agreed to sell the Green Investment Bank to investment firm Macquarie in a £2.3bn deal.

Announcing the deal, climate change and industry minister Nick Hurd said it made sense to move the bank into the private sector to “free it from the constraints of public sector ownership”.

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“This deal gives us the best of both worlds. We have secured fair value for the UK taxpayer,” he said. “GIB has a well-funded new owner that is committed to the bank’s green mission, with a track record of success in green investment and an ambition to grow the business. The UK will benefit from increased investment in our green infrastructure as we make the transition to a green economy.”

The GIB was established in 2012 with a budget of £3.8bn, and given the task of encouraging investment in clean energy infrastructure projects. According to government figures, it has been provided with £1.5bn in funding since 2012, and for every £1 it has invested, it has attracted another £3 of third party capital.

The £2.3bn deal, which is expected to be formally completed following European Union regulatory approval in around two months, is made up of a £1.7bn transaction price and around £600m in estimated future funding commitments for existing GIB projects.

Among other commitments, Macquarie has pledged to maintain the use of the Green Investment Bank brand and to use its Edinburgh office as the base for its green energy portfolios. The government will continue to hold a “special share” intended to safeguard the purpose of the GIB

The sale to Macquarie has been backed by the GIB’s independent board, and chair Lord Smith said that there is “a compelling logic in the world’s first green bank joining forces with the world’s largest infrastructure investor”.

He added: “When we embarked on this process, we were determined to find a new owner who would build on GIB’s successful history – an owner who would have access to deep pools of capital, a commitment to expand GIB’s activities, and a respect for the unique role GIB has played in the market.

“​Macquarie will bring all of this to GIB, along with its own impressive track record of green investments. Its vision for the future growth of GIB demonstrates a redoubling of its commitment to a low carbon economy.”

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