Two bidders left for Porterbrook sale

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Two bidders left for Porterbrook sale

Two bidders are competing for the purchase of Porterbrook, one of the three main rolling stock companies that own Britain's trains.

The two bidders are the following:

A consortium composed by Australian investor Macquarie, Canada's Borealis and Wren House Infrastructure Management, an arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority, has been priced out and is out of the race to acquire the rolling stock company.

Shareholders of the company include Deutsche Bank, iCON Infrastructure, Antin Infrastructure Partners and OPTrust. Lloyds TSB was also a shareholder but it exited the consortium in October 2010.

Porterbrook refinanced its debts in April this year, raising £1.2 billion, through:

  • a 5-year senior term loan of £300m together with the new 15-year £250m fixed rate public bond which were used to repay existing debt due to mature in 2016;
  • 5-year revolving capex and acquisition facilities totalling £600m, which along with the senior term loan are provided by a syndicate of 12 banks; and
  • a new 7-year junior facility of £100m which is provided by MetLife and a number of European financial institutions.

The sale is poised to create controversy over the sector due to the existence of only two competitors: Angel Trains and Eversholt. In 2009, a Competition Commission concluded that competition in the market for the leasing of rolling stock was restricted by the limited number of alternative fleets available.

Porterbrook's investment to date in the UK rail markets totals to £2 billion in new trains and over £300 million on existing fleet refurbishment.

In early May we reported that the deal could fetch more than £2 billion for its shareholders.

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