Macquarie completes acquisition of GIB

By Erin Voegele | August 21, 2017

A consortium led by Macquarie, an Australian-based bank, has completed the acquisition of the U.K. Green Investment Bank Ltd. from the British government for £2.3 billion ($2.96 billion). The consortium includes Macquarie Group Ltd., Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 and Universities Superannuation Scheme. GIB will now operate under the name Green Investment Group.

According to Macquarie, GIB will remain one of the leading investors in green infrastructure in the U.K. and Europe, with added scope to further expand internationally. Macquarie said it will adopt GIB as its primary vehicle for principal investment in green projects in the U.K. and Europe and will consolidate its own existing U.K. and European principal investment business into that vehicle.

Macquarie Capital, the advisory, capital markets and principal investment arm of the Macquarie Group, and GIB have led more than £15 billion of investment in the U.K. across a range of technologies, including bioenergy, energy-from-waste, energy efficiency, onshore and offshore wind, low-carbon transport, solar, tidal energy and energy storage.

In its statement, Macquarie confirmed it has committed to GIB’s target of leading £3 billion of investment in green energy projects over the next three years. Macquarie also noted GIB will continue to collaborate with the U.K. Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the joint venture U.K. Climate Investments LLP.

Commenting on the sale, U.K. Climate Change and Industry Minister Claire Perry explained that the British government decided moving GIB to the private sector would free it from the constraints of public sector ownership, allowing it to increase investment in green infrastructure in the U.K. Perry also indicated GIB’s independent board supported the government’s decision to sell the business to Macquarie.

A green “special share” held by the Green Purposes Co. Ltd. now comes into force. The entity includes five independent trustees that have the power to approve or reject any proposed changes to the GIG’s green purposes in the future.

The U.K. government also said it will continue to hold an interest in a portfolio of a small number of GIB’s existing green infrastructure investments. These assets will continue to be managed by GIB until they can be sold on in a way that returns best value for taxpayer’s money.

A statement released by the Green Purposes Co. notes that its “special share” will safeguard the mission of the GIB and its subsidiaries now that it is no longer under government ownership. The trustees said that they “look forward to working constructively with Macquarie to ensure that the GIB continues to play a leading role in supporting green investment in the U.K. and beyond.” They also said they “expect the GIB, together with its subsidiaries, to continue to act both in compliance with, and in the spirit of, its green objectives.”