UK: Infrastructure manager Network Rail announced on March 4 that it was looking at options for bringing in private capital and expertise to support the operation, maintenance, renewal, financing and enhancement of its electrical distribution and traction power assets. This will include assessing interest in its electrical assets from global investors and electricity network operators.
KPMG has been appointed as financial advisor and is to test the market for a range of options, from maintaining the status quo to a geographical divestment of some or all of the electrical distribution and traction power assets to a third party. NR said it aims to benchmark its competitiveness against the market, maximise commercial opportunities and attract private capital to help fund investment.
The study supports NR’s programme of examining ways to fund investment by realising the value of assets including property, telecoms, major stations and depots. NR has committed to generating an additional £1·8bn to support investment during the current five year regulatory control period to 2019.
‘Our approach is all about financial discipline, with a renewed focus on our core activities while being open and innovative about new sources of finance to fund our growing railway’, said CEO Mark Carne. ‘While no decisions have yet been made, if there are investors or others with expertise in key areas who can help us do that, then we should look to embrace those opportunities.’