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Treasury unit launched to sit on PF2 projects

The Treasury has set up a unit to sit alongside contractors on the boards of private finance 2 projects and an investments committee to analyse bids.

The PF2 Equity Unit team will manage the public sector’s stake in public infrastructure, including schools and hospitals.

It comes under the new criteria embedded in PF2, the replacement to PFI, which said government can act as a minority shareholder in PF2 projects.

Equity investments will be managed by a dedicated team located in Infrastructure UK. The unit’s staff will be made up of commercial and finance specialists.

Margaret Bonsall, who has worked in project finance and PFI since 1989, will head up the unit and report in to Infrastructure UK chief executive Geoffrey Spence.

Ms Bonsall has worked for Network Rail on Crossrail and was the non-executive director of numerous Local Education Partnerships.

She will evaluate prospective investments, sit on the board of PF2 project companies and regularly review the performance of PF2 equity holdings.

The decision to invest public sector equity will be taken by a separate investment committee, including two independent members and senior Treasury officials.

The committee will analyse bids to make sure they meet government criteria. That criteria will be set out publicly in the coming months.

The government will also be publishing a consultation on the PF2 shareholder documents before July, which will set out further detail on public sector equity participation.

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