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Alternative Market Briefing

Macquarie to buy the UK's Green Investment Bank

Friday, April 21, 2017

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

A Macquarie-led consortia of investors will privatize and acquire the UK's Green Investment Bank, a government-backed bank that uses public funds to invest in environmentally sustainable projects. The £2.3 billion ($2.9 billion) deal will keep the bank going and support the launch of three new investment strategies for green infrastructure projects, offshore wind development and low-carbon lending.

The consortium also includes the Universities Superannuation Scheme, a UK pension for university professors.

Macquarie has put up £1.7bn to buy the bank, and will commit an additional £600m in future funding for GIB projects. The British government will retain £135m of the GIB's assets, which could be sold in the future.

The British government faced stiff criticism of the deal. According to a report in City A.M. several MPs voiced concerns about privatizing the bank and also about choosing Macquarie, which the opposition says has a reputation for asset stripping.

Macquarie, for its part, said in a statement that it is committed to the projects already underway at GIB and will continue to invest in the UK. The GIB will be merged with Macquarie's existing UK renewable energy investment team. Macquarie will also expand the GIB's mandate by investing opportunistically in Europe and Asia. The deal has the backing of the ......................

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