Green deal

Banks in $1bn renewables sale to Brookfield

Kype Muir wind farm
Kype Muir windfarm is among Banks’ projects

The Banks Group has sold its renewable energy division to Brookfield, a Canadian asset manager, in an enterprise deal said to be worth $1 billion.

Brookfield, which has $850bn under management, is chaired by Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, and the deal is expected to net the Banks family more than $500 million.

Banks began as a coal mining company in 1976 in Durham and continued to extract coal until 2021. It established its renewables business in 2006 and it has grown to become one of the UK’s leading independent owner-operators of onshore wind.

It currently has 11 onshore wind farms across Yorkshire, the North East, the North West and Scotland, and earlier this year, it completed the construction of its 100th wind turbine as part of the development of the new Kype Extension Wind Farm in South Lanarkshire, which is due to become operational in the very near future.

Banks Renewables has significantly increased its pipeline of onshore wind farms under development over the last year and has a potential additional capacity of over 400MW across four further sites in Scotland, with planning consent in place for the Lethans Wind Farm in East Ayrshire and the Mill Rig Wind Farm in South Lanarkshire.

Mark Carney
Mark Carney: chairs Brookfield Asset Management

About £3.5 million has been distributed from the community benefits funds linked to the group’s wind farms, which provide funding for voluntary groups, environmental projects and good causes in their respective locations.

Banks’ other businesses, including Banks Property, Banks Homes, Banks Mining, Banks Transport and Banks Plant Solutions, will continue to operate as normal. 

Founder and chairman Harry Banks said: “I believe that Brookfield’s established position in the renewables industry and the strong cultural fit that exists between both businesses will lead to this acquisition being to the benefit of all parties involved.

“The greater resources of Brookfield will enable the fuller development of opportunities which Banks Renewables are introducing.  It will be good for Banks Renewables’ employees and their career prospects, and it will be good for Brookfield because they are acquiring a renewables business with a proven track record and a capability to take the business forward.”

Sebastian Perl, vice president at Brookfield, added: “The United Kingdom is a high-quality location for renewable energy development and we are delighted to have made a further commitment to this market.

“We have a track record of being long-term owners of renewable energy businesses around the world and we see great potential to continue the great work that Banks Renewables has already achieved.”

The Banks Group was advised by Rothschild & Co (corporate finance and M&A) and Ashurst (legal) during the transaction.

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