TIN news: The UK Government has agreed to sell its 40% stake in the Eurostar high-speed rail service to a consortium consisting of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure, in a £757.1m deal.
Under the agreement, the Anglo-Canadian consortium will acquire the government's share for £585.1m and Eurostar will redeem HMG's preference share, providing a further £172m for the exchequer.
Chancellor George Osborne said: "Investing in the best quality infrastructure for the UK, getting the best value for money for the taxpayer and tackling our country's debts are key parts of our long-term economic plan, and in today's agreement, we are delivering on all three."
"Investing in the best quality infrastructure for the UK, getting the best value for money for the taxpayer and tackling our country's debts are key parts of our long-term economic plan."
In October last year, the government announced its decision to sell shares in the cross-Channel train operator in a bid to raise £20bn in funding under the National Infrastructure Plan.
The remaining stake in Eurostar is held by French rail operator SNCF and Belgian national rail operator SNCB. Both the rail operators hold 55% and 5% shares in Eurostar respectively.
According to this deal, SNCF and SNCB will have the option to acquire HMG's 40% stake for a 15% premium to the agreed price of £585.1m, the UK Government said.
The transaction is expected to be completed by the second quarter of this year.
Eurostar has served more than 150 million passengers since starting operations in 1994, while it carried more than ten million last year alone.