Belfast Telegraph

Deal struck to sell HS1 to consortium of investors

The Canadian pension funds behind HS1 have struck a deal to sell the high-speed railway to a consortium of investors in a deal understood to be worth more than £3 billion.

Borealis and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan will sell HS1, which links London to the Channel tunnel, to funds managed by InfraRed Capital Partners and Equitix Investment Management.

The funds are HICL Infrastructure and the National Pension Service (NPS) of the Republic of Korea.

Under the terms of the deal, which comes after a strategic review, HICL and the Equitix funds are to acquire 35% each, with the NPS funds picking up the remaining of 30%.

Borealis and Ontario Teachers forked out £2.1 billion for the concession in 2010, which runs until 2040, and stand to pocket a healthy return on their investment.

HS1 is responsible for operating and maintaining the 109km track, as well as the four stations served by the route: St Pancras International, Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International.

Ben Loomes, managing partner at InfraRed, said: "We are very pleased to be investing in HS1, a strategically important and core UK infrastructure asset.

"We look forward to working with the management team and our partners to further build on the success that the business has enjoyed to date and facilitate the continued delivery of a high-quality service for passengers."

In 2016, HS1 handled over 75,000 train services carrying more than 20 million passengers.

Jo Taylor, managing director of Ontario Teachers, said that HS1 has delivered "significant economic benefits to the UK", adding he is confident that HS1 will continue to prosper under its new owners.