Canada Pension Buys Big Stake in European High-Speed Rail

transit

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has acquired a 30 percent stake in Eurostar International, a high-speed rail service that runs between London, Paris and Brussels.

Caisse’s stake is reportedly worth $850 million, according to the International Business Times Australia.

Caisse purchased the stake from the UK Treasury.

More details from IBT:

Caisse expects to close the deal on the second quarter of 2015, if the state-owned railways in France and Belgium do not exercise their rights to purchase the British government’s stake. Together, France and Belgium own the remaining 60 percent of Eurostar. They could push to exercise their right by paying a 15 percent premium to the agreed price.

“We don’t think they will exercise it and hope they would not… but it remains in their discretion,” Macky Tall, senior vice-president of private equity and infrastructure at the Caisse, was quoted by The Financial Post.

Eurostar, launched in 1994, offers train service up to 300 kilometres an hour through the English Channel tunnel. It runs between London and Paris, as well as London and Brussels. It travels 2 hours and 15 minutes between France and Britain’s two largest cities for £69. In 2014, it carried over 10.4 million people.

Tall said the investment is another opportunity for the company to further build its expertise in the transport sector, noting Caisse’s global infrastructure investment portfolio was valued at more than C$10 billion as of Dec. 31.

When the deal is closed, ownership stakes in Eurostar International will look like this: French National Railway Company (55%), Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (30%), Hermes Infrastructure (10%) and National Railway Company of Belgium (5%).

 

Photo by  Renaud CHODKOWSKI via Flickr CC License

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  1. […] week, Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec acquired a 30 percent stake in Eurostar International, a high-speed rail service that runs between London, Paris and […]

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