UK to Sell its Share in Eurostar

By Annifer Jackson

The UK government will attempt to sell off its 40 percent share in high-speed rail link Eurostar as part of its plan to reduce national debt.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said in a statement: “"I am determined that we go on making the decisions to reform the British economy and tackle our debts. So we will proceed with the potential sale of the UK's shareholding in Eurostar today."

The sale of the link connecting London with Paris and Brussels will help the UK meet its target of £20 billion in asset sales by 2020, with the Treasury saying that it expects to form concrete agreements for the deal in early 2015.

Eurostar is also owned by French rail company SNCF (55 percent) and Belgium’s SNCB (five percent).

So far the rail service has taken more than 145 million passengers in its 20 years of operation, with 10 million of those using the link in 2013.

The move to sell the UK stake comes amid heightening criticism from unions about a lack of ownership of national assets, and follows the controversial sale of postal service Royal Mail.

READ MORE: The Resurgence of the IPO Market in 2014

This sale could also be seen as another ill-judged decision in terms of UK transport, as domestic rail companies have been receiving torrents of complaints ever since privatisation in the 1990s.

Last year Deutsche Bahn received approval to run trains through the Channel Tunnel as part of its plans to connect London with Frankfurt and Cologne in 2016. 

Share

Featured Articles

Musk’s multibillion hostile Twitter takeover – the timeline

As billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk buys Twitter for US$44bn, we draw up a timeline, from the buying of shares to the critical tweets and unsolicited bid

Sustainable moves businesses can make to win customers, IBM

With half of consumers saying environmental sustainability is more important today than a year ago, businesses should up their eco action, says IBM report

Banks and consultancies top workplaces to grow career in UK

Financial and professional services firms rank highest in LinkedIn Top 25 best workplaces list – from Barclays, Lloyds and HSBC, to PwC, Deloitte and EY

Top 10 women in technology in Europe

Leadership & Strategy

The value of ESG links sustainability to business returns

Sustainability

Top 10 European football clubs by revenue 2022 – Deloitte

Corporate Finance