In May 2015, Hermes Infrastructure acquired a 10% stake in Eurostar. We purchased a combined 40% stake in the company from the UK Government, in partnership with Canada’s Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, a leading North American long-term institutional investor.
Eurostar has firmly established its credentials as one of Europe’s leading international high speed rail operators, carrying over 150 million passengers through the Channel Tunnel since services began in 1994. Eurostar has c1,600 employees and is headquartered in London. The train fleet has recently been upgraded and offers customers an enhanced service, as well as allowing the company to carry more passengers and improve the energy efficiency of its operations. Eurostar now offers links to over 100 destinations across Europe via Paris, Brussels and Lille, and has ambitious plans to continue to develop its international route network.
Hermes Infrastructure’s investment in Eurostar has been made as part of our Value Added strategy where we seek to invest in mature assets with a strong market position. Eurostar’s position as the sole provider of passenger rail services through the Channel Tunnel ensures a good strategic fit.
Eurostar’s other shareholders are Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (‘SNCF’) (55%) and Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Belges (‘SNCB’) (5%), the publicly owned national rail operators of France and Belgium respectively. Both are highly experienced rail operators and have played a key role in the development of Eurostar.