MetLife backs UK Intercity train consortium

A private capital arm of the New York-listed insurance group has taken a minority stake in a Hitachi Rail/John Laing grouping delivering part of the UK’s Intercity Express Programme.

MetLife Private Capital Investors, part of New York-listed insurance company MetLife, has made an equity investment for a minority stake in Agility Trains West, a consortium comprising Hitachi Rail Europe and John Laing Investments.

Agility Trains West is delivering the first phase of the UK Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, which involves the delivery of new trains, maintenance depots and route upgrades. The first phase is estimated to be worth some £2.4 billion (€2.8 billion; $3.7 billion), while the project overall is worth an estimated £4.5 billion.

The Intercity Express Programme involves the procurement of new trains to replace the InterCity 125 fleet on the UK’s East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line, as well as replace other trains on long-distance services from London to cities such as Cambridge, Oxford and Hull.

Scott Inglis, global head of MetLife Private Capital Investors, said the investment reflects the firm’s “growing interest in expanding our global portfolio of direct investment in global infrastructure equity and private debt placements in well structured, long-term infrastructure assets and projects”.