ADIA linked to bid for UK high-speed rail

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is part of an investor group seeking to buy UK’s high-speed rail link to the Channel Tunnel, according to reports. The sale is expected to bring in £1.5bn to £2bn.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is part of a consortium set to make a bid for the high-speed rail line linking London with the Channel Tunnel, media reports suggest.

ADIA, which manages United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) excess oil reserves, is understood to have joined forces with investment group 3i and the infrastructure arm of investment bank Morgan Stanley.

HS1 bidding speeds up.

High Speed 1 (HS1), which owns the railway stations and 110-kilometre track connecting London with the Channel Tunnel, is estimated to be worth between £1.5 billion (€1.81 billion; $2.4 billion) and £2 billion. The deadline for submitting an offer for the first round of bids is 17 August.

Other bidders include Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel, supported by Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners and Infracapital Partners, the infrastructure division of Prudential unit M&G, according to reports.

Potential bidders in the auction, which is being run by Swiss bank UBS, have completed a pre-qualification questionnaire. UBS hopes to have all bids in ahead of the August 17 deadline, and to be able to announce a preferred bidder by the autumn.

ADIA has total assets of between $500 billion and $700 billion. Earlier this year, it bought a 15 percent stake in Gatwick Airport following its sale by BAA to fund manager Global Infrastructure Partners for £1.5 billion in October last year.