Date
18 December 2017
Eversholt Rail owns about 28 percent of Britain's passenger trains. Photo: Eversholt Rail
Eversholt Rail owns about 28 percent of Britain's passenger trains. Photo: Eversholt Rail

Li Ka-shing buys British train operator for US$3.8 bln

Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings Ltd. (01038.HK) has bought Britain’s Eversholt Rail for an enterprise value of 2.5 billion pounds (US$3.8 billion), the latest European acquisition by Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong group.

British private equity fund 3i Infrastructure Plc said Tuesday that it and Eversholt’s other investors had sold their entire holding to CKI, Reuters reported.

CKI plans to raise up to HK$4.04 billion (US$521 million) in a Hong Kong share offering to fund its investment in Eversholt, IFR reported, citing a term sheet.

The firm is offering 69 million shares in an indicative range of HK$56.60 to HK$58.60 each, a discount of up to 6.75 percent from Tuesday’s close of HK$60.70.

Eversholt owns about 28 percent of Britain’s passenger trains. It is one of the country’s three leading rail rolling stock companies.

CKI pre-empted an auction process for Eversholt after losing out on the sale last year of Porterbrook, one of Eversholt’s rivals, Reuters said.

Eversholt, Angel Trains and Porterbrook have dominated the market since 1994 when the British government privatized the country’s railways.

Investors have been attracted to the firms for their steady income, longer-term leases and the growth in rail ridership in Britain.

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