A consortium led by Australian banking and financial services company Macquarie Group has reached an agreement to acquire Green Investment Bank (GIB) from the UK Government for £2.3bn.

The consortium includes Macquarie, its subsidiary Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund 5 (MEIF5) and Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).

After the acquisition is complete, Macquarie noted that it will make arrangements to safeguard GIB’s green purpose which will be held by five independent trustees.

With investors including MEIF5, USS, GCP Infrastructure and the UK government, the Green Investment Bank will manage and supervise £4bn of green infrastructure assets and projects.

Macquarie said that Green Investment Bank will establish three new investment vehicles including an offshore wind investment vehicle, a low carbon lending platform and green infrastructure investment platform.

The Australian company also pledged to support Green Investment Bank’s commitment of investing £3bn in green energy projects in the next three years. These investments are expected to occur in energy efficiency, bioenergy, energy from waste, onshore and offshore wind, solar and tidal energy and energy storage.

Macquarie, alongwith GIB, claims to have made a total investment of about £15bn in UK’s low carbon economy in the past five years. This includes about 60% of UK’s offshore wind generation capacity, 30 waste and bioenergy projects and 1.8GW of solar projects. Macquarie is presently advising on 850MW tidal projects under development.

Maquarie UK’s green infrastructure investments include Teesside, a bioenergy plant, Race Bank, UK’s largest offshore wind farms, installation of 2 million smart meters across UK homes and retrofitting energy efficient street lighting in Nottingham and Tay Valley.

Macquarie Capital Europe head Daniel Wong said: “It is a privilege to be selected by HM Government to acquire the Green Investment Bank. The Green Investment Bank is a pioneering business, with outstanding people, expertise, credentials, brand and networks.

“By combining the Green Investment Bank with the largest infrastructure investor in the world, we will create a market leading platform dedicated to investment in the low carbon economy in the UK and beyond. We understand the responsibilities that come with this ownership, and we are fully committed to maintaining its green purpose as we grow the business.”  

Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) global head Martin Stanley 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.” 

The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2017 subject to regulatory approvals.

Image: Macquarie Group to acquire Green Investment Bank in UK. Photo: Courtesy of Jesper Baerentzen/FreeImages.com.