Eurotunnel snaps up rail freight firm in £31m deal

CHANNEL Tunnel operator Eurotunnel is buying Britain’s third-largest rail freight operator, GB Railfreight, from UK transport company FirstGroup for €26.3m (£21.9m) in cash, it said yesterday.

The acquisition will be combined with Eurotunnel’s Europorte unit, which it bought from Veolia last year. FirstGroup earlier confirmed it was selling its rail freight business to Europorte, for a total consideration of £31m including pension liabilities.

FirstGroup said the proceeds of the disposal would be used to further reduce its net debt.

GB Railfreight, which specialises in hauling freight for customers, had annual sales of about £55m and a net profit of around £5m.