The group has now built 100 turbines. Credit: Banks Group

Global heavyweight to buy Banks Group’s renewables arm

The Durham-based firm’s renewable energy business, established in 2006, now operates 11 on-shore wind farms and is being acquired by Canadian asset manager Brookfield for a reported $1bn.

Brookfield, which also owns PD Ports, a key player in Teesside and the Humber, has more than $850bn of assets under management.

The Banks Group, founded in 1976, is still family-owned and is now one of the UK’s busiest independent owner/operators of onshore wind.

The firm currently has 11 operational on-shore wind farms across Yorkshire, the North East, the North West and Scotland. Banks’ 100th wind turbine reached completion this year at Kype Extension in South Lanarkshire, a site due to become operational soon.

Along with the operational sites, there are various wind, solar and battery projects with applications in or granted.

Around £3.5m has so far 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 Group’s 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.

“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.”

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 on corporate finance and M&A matters and Ashurst on legals during the transaction.

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