Energy minister Nick Hurd today reassured MPs the Green Investment Bank (GIB) will not be sold “to an asset stripper”.
The government has come under pressure in recent weeks over the choice of Macquarie as the preferred bidder for the £4bn sell-off.
The criticism came after it was reported that the Australian investment bank is planning to strip the GIB of its prized assets.
Hurd was quizzed about the sale before a cross-party selection of MPs in Westminster Hall today.
He reiterated that the government is not able to confirm the identity of the preferred bidder, but said no final decision has been made.
Challenged on the chances of prized parts of the bank being sold off, Hurd said “no one has an interest in selling to an asset stripper”.
He added: “We’ve run a competitive process, we’ve received a proposal from a preferred bidder which we are now evaluating against those criteria, and no decision has yet been taken.”
Green MP Caroline Lucas, who has led the parliamentary campaign against the GIB being sold to Macquarie, spoke out in favour of a rival bid from Sustainable Development Capital and a possible initial public offering (IPO).
Macquarie has so far declined to comment on the GIB sell-off, but has pointed to its green credentials: “Macquarie is the world's largest infrastructure asset manager, with over £78bn of assets under management. We currently have over £10bn to invest into new infrastructure opportunities, including renewable energy projects.”