High Speed 1 bid group expands

City A.M. Reporter
GOLDMAN Sachs and Groupe Eurotunnel have expanded their bidding group for Britain's only high-speed rail line, a consortium spokesman said as first-round bids were due for the £1.5bn route.

The British government is selling "High Speed 1," which has a 30-year concession to run a 110-kilometre (70 mile) railway linking London and the Channel Tunnel, to help cut its budget deficit.

The "GB Speedrail" group, already consisting of Eurotunnel Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners and M&G's Infracapital, has been joined by two financial backers, Britain's Universities Superannuation Scheme, and France's Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, a spokesman for the group said.

"We will make an indicative bid today," the spokesman said.

The five-strong group is vying with at least two rival teams.

One is made up of Morgan Stanley Infrastructure, 3i Infrastructure and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

A second Canadian partnership has allied Borealis, the infrastructure investment arm of Ontario
Municipal Employees Retirement System with Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.