UK Government to sell 40% Stake in Eurostar to reduce Britain's Debt Pile
The British government has begun the sale process for its 40 percent stake in Eurostar International which operates high-speed trains between London and Paris through a tunnel under the English Channel.
This move is part of a continuing effort by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to sell a variety of government-owned entities and assets by 2020 in hopes of raising approximately $32 billion or 20 billion pounds.
Government of Britain plans to use the proceeds from the sale of Eurostar and other government assets to reduce the country’s public debt.
This is the latest step by the British government to put the country on a more solid financial footing through reductions and asset sales in public services also known as “austerity” measures here.
The British Government said that its key objective in a potential sale will be to maximize value for money for the British taxpayer.
In 2013, the Government of Britain had raised £1.98 billion from the IPO of Royal Mail and reduced its holdings in Lloyds Banking Group, the British lender through two share sales.
The Government hopes to sell its stake in Eurostar by the first quarter of 2015 ahead of the next general election in May in Britain.
Potential bidders have time until 31st October to submit a so-called prequalification letter expressing interest in buying the stake in Eurostar.
The potential bidders will be required in part to submit information about their rationale for buying the stake, their plans to further invest in Eurostar after the acquisition and any potential conflicts of interests that might arise from the sale.
Last year, Eurostar transported 10 million people and it is planning a new service to Provence in 2015, and in 2016, to Amsterdam. In 2013, Eurostar posted profit of £72.3 million and revenue of £882.2 million.