U.K. Green Investment Bank Said to Attract Up to 12 Bidders

  • Initial bids due by May; second-round offers expected July
  • Bidders will need 4.2 billion pounds for assets, investments

State-owned U.K. Green Investment Bank Plc could receive as many as a dozen bids by next month as it works to privatize the bank, which channels money into green energy projects, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Between six and 12 parties are expected to place non-binding offers and submit their plans for how they’ll protect the bank’s green mandate by next month, according to the person, who asked not to be named because discussions are confidential. Bidders could be required to show commitments of about 4.2 billion pounds ($6 billion) to cover the bank’s assets and future investments.

The second phase of the sale will likely conclude in July, with between two and four companies or consortia making binding offers, the person said. Spokesmen for Green Investment Bank and the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, which is helping to oversee the sale, declined to comment.

Potential bidders range from infrastructure and pension funds, to insurers, commercial banks and sovereign wealth funds. Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd is among the groups interested in bidding, the person said. A Macquarie spokeswoman declined to comment.

The government set up the bank in 2012 to spur investments in renewable energy projects. Chief Executive Officer Shaun Kingsbury said in a March interview that he’s seeking new owners to invest as much as 800 million pounds a year for the next three years, and that the bank currently manages assets valued at about 1.8 billion pounds.

The government is also in the process of choosing three trustees of a “golden” share, who can veto investments that could compromise the bank’s carbon reduction mission after the sale. Ministers established the share to allay the concerns of environmentalists and lawmakers that privatization would put the bank’s environmental purpose at risk.

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