The sale of the UK’s Green Investment Bank, which has led more than £15 billion of investment into UK green infrastructure, has officially been sold to Australia bank Macquarie Group for £2.3 billion.
Two years ago in June 2015, the UK’s Green Investment Bank (GIB) announced that it was moving forward with plans to privatize in an attempt to further the already impressive success of the GIB. Earlier this year, after several months of rumors and reporting, one of Australia’s leading banks, the Macquarie Group, agreed to acquire the GIB for £2.3 billion and committed to the GIB’s established target of driving £3 billion in new green energy investments.
This week, the Macquarie-led consortium behind the acquisition — comprising Macquarie Group Limited (Macquarie), Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (MEIF5) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) — successfully completed the acquisition of the GIB for the agreed upon sum of £2.3 billion from the UK government.
The £2.3 billion price tag ensures that all the UK taxpayer funding that was invested into the GIB since its creation back in 2012 has now been returned with a gain of approximately £186 million.
“We led the world in setting up the Green Investment Bank and it is now being copied by others,” said Climate Change and Industry Minister Claire Perry. “Now that it’s in the private sector, it will be able to operate on an international level to tackle the global challenge of climate change. It is also perfectly placed to help us finance green initiatives for our Clean Growth Plan and realise the commitments set out in the Paris Agreement.”
Macquarie intends to ensure the GIB remains one of the leading investors in UK and Europe green infrastructure but is also looking to expand internationally.
“Combined with Macquarie’s resources as the world’s largest infrastructure investor, the Green Investment Group will be uniquely placed to continue in its pioneering role in the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy,” explained Daniel Wong, Head of Macquarie Capital Europe. “We look forward to growing the Green Investment Group’s capacity and its contribution to the UK and global renewables markets.”
“Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Green Investment Bank,” added Lord Smith of Kelvin, Chair of the Green Investment Bank up to the completion of the transaction.
“Under Macquarie ownership, the business will have the support it needs to deliver a growing green impact, at home in the UK and now abroad.”
“I’m confident that with this support the Green Investment Bank, nurtured so well through its early years by the UK Government, will go on to bigger and better things.
“If the Paris Agreement is to be delivered we need to see mature green infrastructure delivered quickly and at scale, alongside the rapid development of emerging technologies. To achieve this the world needs committed, innovative, specialist, experienced investors with access to deep and flexible pools of capital. The Green Investment Group will now have the platform to meet that market need and fulfil its full potential.”
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