Posted 21st January 2015 | 2 Comments

Eversholt Rail set to be sold for £1bn

ONE of the main rolling stock leasing companies, Eversholt Rail, is set to be sold to a Chinese bidder. The price is reported to be around £1 billion.

The Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing, who owns one of the two members of the purchasing consortium, Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd,  is seeking to raise more than £300 million through a share issue in Hong Kong to provide its share of the joint purchase price.

The other member is Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited. Together they form the proposed purchaser CK Investments S.A R.L. (normally known as CKI).

Eversholt Rail Group, which owns some 28 per cent of British rolling stock, is presently owned by Eversholt Investment Group S.C.S., a consortium of 3i Infrastructure plc, Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners and STAR Capital Partners, which bought Eversholt from HSBC in December 2010.

The deal will need to be cleared by the European Commission under the EU Merger rules, and Eversholt said it expected to complete the transaction in March.

Eversholt's CEO Mary Kenny said: "Eversholt Rail has performed strongly, both operationally and financially, under its current ownership providing, managing and maintaining key UK rail assets.  We look forward to continuing our success with CKI, who have extensive experience in managing infrastructure assets and are highly supportive of our strategy and approach.”

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • MikeB, Liverpool

    Li Kai-Shing is the richest man in Asia and owns companies throughout the world, including the Superdrug chain here in the UK. I totally understand that we live in a global marketplace, with large multinational companies and extremely rich individuals controlling a good proportion of the world's businesses. Nowadays of course, foreign-owned companies are heavily involved in Britain's rail industry - from train building to passenger and freight services. This seems to stem from rail privatisation when, apart from the bus companies, very few UK companies (including engineering concerns) showed any interest in becoming involved. Hence the appearance of the likes of Bombardier, Deutsche Bahn and other European operators. Sadly it seems that, in the global rail market, British companies have left it too late to take on the "big boys" and are probably doomed to play supporting roles only.

  • Lutz, London

    Would be interesting to see if the business was to be extensively expanded into the rest of the EU under it's new owners. Must admit though that I had been hoping that CKI would become a potential bider for Network Rail.