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British government sells Eurostar train stake for $1.2 billion

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Staff writer ▼ | March 5, 2015
The British government is selling off its entire 40 percent interest in channel-tunnel train operator Eurostar International Ltd.
UK is selling   France and Belgium are not selling
The move is part of the government's plan to raise 20 billion pounds by 2020 through privatizations by the sale corporate and financial assets to reduce its public sector deficit. The government announced that it was inviting offers for its stake in October 2014.

The U.K. government agreed to sell the stake in the high speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe for 757.1 million pounds or $1.16 billion. The deal in expected to close during the second quarter of 2015.

This includes the sale of the entire stake to a consortium comprising Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and Hermès Infrastructure for 585.1 million pound. Further, the redemption of government preference shares by Eurostar upon closing will rake in a further 172 million pounds.

The remaining 60 percent in Eurostar is owned by the French state-owned SNCF (55 percent) and the Belgian state-owned SNCB (5 percent).