Government confirms sale of Green Investment Bank for £2.3bn

18 Aug 17

The government’s sale of the Green Investment Bank to Australian business group Macquarie for £2.3bn has been confirmed today.

The firm has today also committed to the GIB’s target of leading £3bn of investment in green energy projects over the next three years.

Claire Perry, climate change and industry minister said the deal, first announced in April, covers all the set-up costs invested by taxpayers with a gain of around £186m.

Perry said: “We led the world in setting up the Green Investment Bank and it is now being copied by others.

“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 and GIB have announced today that the company will now be known as the Green Investment Group (GIG) so that it will be able to make overseas investments.

The government 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 which returns best value for taxpayers’ money.

Daniel Wong, head of Macquarie Capital Europe, said: "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.

“We look forward to growing the Green Investment Group’s capacity and its contribution to the UK and global renewables markets.”

However Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, who set up the GIB in 2012 when he was business secrearty in the coaltion goverment branded the sale "environmentally irresponsible".

Cable said it would risk setting the UK back years in its efforts to fight climate change.
He said: "The bank has done an extremely good job in supporting renewable energy, energy efficiency and low-carbon projects. It has managed to attract over £10bn of private investment in these sectors that would not otherwise have happened.
"At a time when business confidence is falling and the Conservatives are giving mixed signals on their commitment to the environment, this is the worst time to undermine investment in the green economy."
He insisted that Parliament ensure that commitments to protect the bank's green objectives are fully honoured.

Labour's, shadow secretary for business environment and industrial strategy, Rebecca Long-Bailey, said the sale was "wrong" and she raised concerns that Macquaire would asset strip it.

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