Macquarie buys UK’s Green Investment Bank for £2.3bn

Macquarie Bank has bought the UK’s Green Investment Bank for £2.3 billion (€2.74bn).

The Green Investment Bank was set up by the UK government five years.

The Treasury secures £1.7 billion through the process, with a further £600m of liabilities taken on by the Australia-based business lender.

The bank was set up to fund renewable and low-carbon projects and has invested about £800m per year so far.

That includes total government funding of £1.5 billion since 2012.

The deal with Macquarie should see that rise to £3 billion per year over three years.

It requires the new owner to retain its name and headquarters team in Edinburgh.

A new asset management division is being set up in the Scottish capital. The bank currently employees 50 people in Edinburgh and 85 in London.

Although all the shares are transferring, the government is appointing independent trustees with the power to ensure it continues to have an environmental mission

Under Macquarie’s custodianship, the Green Investment Bank will operate in accordance with its green purpose and green objectives and in line with the ‘special share’ arrangements. This will include publishing an annual report on its green performance, holding an annual industry day for stakeholders and green reporting. 

‘One of Europe’s largest teams’

Together, the Green Investment Bank and Macquarie will employ one of Europe’s largest teams of green energy investment specialists, based in Edinburgh and London. A new revenue-generating project delivery team in Edinburgh will provide critical technical, risk, project management and advisory services to green infrastructure investments managed by the Green Investment Bank and Macquarie. 

Martin Stanley, global head of Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA), said: “The opportunity to deploy capital from MEIF5 into the Green Investment Bank’s offshore wind platform provides the fund with an attractive investment in a diverse portfolio of offshore wind assets in the UK. This acquisition will provide the investors in our fund, which include UK and international pension funds and institutions, with long-term exposure to well-managed businesses in well-regulated and established markets.” 

Mike Powell, head of Private Markets at USS, said: "This transaction has enabled USS to acquire a portfolio of high quality renewable energy assets on behalf of our members. The assets include offshore wind projects and a portfolio of renewable loans, illustrating our capability to invest across the capital structure. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Green Investment Bank and finding new opportunities to invest in the low carbon economy in the UK." 

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