Durham’s Banks Group sells $1bn renewables unit

County Durham family firm the Banks Group announced that its renewable energy division Banks Renewables is being acquired by Brookfield, the Canadian asset manager with $850 billion of assets under management.

News reports speculated the deal is worth almost $1 billion.

The Banks Group, founded in 1976, established its renewables business in 2006 and 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 of England, the North West of England and in Scotland.

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

Banks Group 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.

“This is also good news for other Banks Group businesses and their employees, who will continue to develop our existing businesses in land, property, mining and in developing our new regional housebuilding business, Banks Homes.”

Brookfield vice president Sebastian Perl said: “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.