Britain’s first purpose-built high-speed line has new owners after a deal was confirmed at the end of last week.
Borealis – the infrastructure investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) pension fund – and Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan bought the concession to run the railway for £2.1 billion in November, 2010.
That deal included the rights to operate and the responsibility to maintain the line as well as St Pancras International, Stratford, Ashford and Ebbsfleet stations for the next 30 years.
But on Friday, July 14, HS1 confirmed that a consortium managed by InfraRed – on behalf of investors including National Pension Service of the Republic of Korea and HICL Infrastructure – and Equitix Investment Management had purchased the line. The amount was not disclosed.
HS1 operates the 109-km railway line connecting London St Pancras International station with the Channel Tunnel, the first section of which opened in 2003.
In 2016, HS1 handled over 75,000 train services and its principal customers, London and South Eastern Railway and Eurostar, carried more than 20 million passengers.
InfraRed head of infrastructure Ben Loomes said: “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.”
OMERS’ global head of infrastructure Ralph Berg added: “We are proud of the successes that HS1 has achieved since our acquisition in 2010.
“We are confident that HS1 will continue to excel under its new ownership.”