LONDON – Britain's government has agreed to sell its stake in Eurostar, the high-speed rail service that connects London, Paris and Brussels, for 757 million pounds ($1.1 billion), wrapping up a major deal months before the general election.
The Treasury said Wednesday a group of international investors, Canada's Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and U.K.-based Hermes Infrastructure, agreed to buy the government's 40-percent stake for 585.1 million pounds. Eurostar agreed to redeem the government's preference share for an additional 172 million pounds.
Treasury chief George Osborne said the sale was "a fantastic deal for UK taxpayers that exceeds expectations," but critics described it as a fire sale of an important national asset.
CDPQ manages public pension funds. Hermes Infrastructure is a fund managing about 3 billion pounds for its clients.