The chief executive of a rival bidder in the Green Investment Bank privatisation has condemned the government for making an “unfortunate” choice of preferred bidder and stubbornly sticking with it.
The government is in exclusive talks with Australian investment bank Macquarie as it seeks to sell-off the £2bn-valued Green Investment Bank.
The deal has come under intense scrutiny this year amid claims Macquarie was planning to asset-strip the organisation, which was founded by the government in 2012 and put up for sale last year.
Politicians from across different parties have expressed concerns over the deal and City A.M. revealed yesterday that public spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) is watching the progress of the deal closely.
Macquarie’s main rival was UK investment firm Sustainable Development Capital (SDCL), which remains hopeful of landing a deal.
“Having made an unfortunate decision in the autumn, government appears dogmatically committed to sticking to it,” said SDCL chief executive Jonathan Maxwell.
We do not believe that the course they seem to have embarked on delivers on the transaction objectives, including value for money for the UK taxpayer and continuity for the GIB’s purpose.
We can only hope for a better outcome and, as a financial institution permanently committed to investing in sustainable infrastructure, we remain committed to delivering one if the opportunity arises.
Macquarie has declined to comment specifically on this deal, but has issued several statements in recent weeks – including to MPs opposing the deal – talking up its green credentials.
A spokesperson for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “Any government decisions on the sale of the Green Investment Bank will be driven by what best achieves our objectives, including continued investment in the green economy and a sale which is in the best interests of the taxpayer.
“This is a commercially sensitive process and it is inappropriate for us to comment further while that process is ongoing.”