High Speed 1

Equitix investment: £333 million

Financial close: September 2017

In September 2017, Equitix acquired a 35% stake in the flagship High Speed 1 rail infrastructure project, one of the largest to be procured in the UK to date in terms of capital expenditure.

The concession runs for 23 years from financial close, expiring in 2040, and it includes the operation and management of 109km of high-speed rail line from London to the Channel Tunnel and four stations en route: St Pancras, Stratford, Ebbsfleet and Ashford. The iconic St Pancras station alone has an annual footfall of 50 million and has been voted the number one train station in the UK every year since 2007.

Offering a desirable, fast commuter service in and out of London’s city centre, High Speed 1 is the only international passenger line in the UK and is a key link between London, Paris and Brussels. The project was completed on time in 2007 and has been operating successfully since then.

Revenues from domestic and international train paths equate to around 90% of total project revenues. The remaining 10% is driven by property and ancillary income from the four stations – predominantly St Pancras. The UK Government underwrites 90–95% of domestic revenues.

Equitix has raised over £200 million of co-investment capital from its limited partners to acquire the asset alongside Equitix Fund IV and Equitix Fund V; it formed a consortium with InfraRed Capital Partners (35%) and the National Pension Service of Korea (30%).

Allen & Overy (legal) and Macquarie Capital (financial) advised the consortium.