Home Business NewsEconomic News The government is selling its Eurostar stake to raise up to £300m

The government is selling its Eurostar stake to raise up to £300m

13th Oct 14 9:09 am

George Osborne is announcing today that the government plans to sell its 40% stake in Eurostar.

The government hopes to raise £300m from the sale, as part of its wider plan to raise £20bn from selling public assets by 2020, to reduce debt.

Osborne wants potential buyers to declare their interest by the end of the month, and hopes to have finalised the sale within the first three months of 2015.

Osborne will say: “I am determined that we go on making the decisions to reform the British economy and tackle our debts. So we will proceed with the potential sale of the UK’s shareholding in Eurostar today.

“Ensuring we can deliver the best quality infrastructure for Britain and the best value for money for the taxpayer are key parts of our long-term economic plan.

“As part of our aim to achieve £20bn from asset sales by 2020, the sale proceeds would make an important contribution to the task of reducing the public sector debt.”

Eurostar is also 55% owned by SNCF, the French state-owned train company, and 5% owned by SNCB, Belgium’s state-owned railway company.

UBS is advising on the sale. UBS also advised on the Royal Mail sale, for which Osborne has been widely criticised.

Commentators believe the government could have generated significant additional revenue from the Royal Mail sale if it had taken more time to review its options, since the company’s value shot up after it was sold.

UBS and other companies involved in the sale of Royal Mail were accused of profiteering from the sale.



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