UK: Beacon Rail Leasing has expanded its UK rolling stock portfolio with the purchase of the Bombardier Class 220 and Class 221 Voyager diesel-electric multiple-unit fleets from subsidiaries of Lloyds Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland.

The 352 vehicles are formed into 78 four and five-car sets, of which 58 are leased by Arriva’s CrossCountry franchise and 20 by Virgin Trains for the InterCity West Coast franchise.

Luxembourg-based Beacon Rail’s portfolio includes 225 locomotives, more than 1 000 wagons, 55 multiple-units, 67 double-deck coaches and 13 five-car sets of inter-city coaches leased to customers in the UK, Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Austria, and the Netherlands.

‘We are very pleased with this transaction because it continues our expansion in the UK passenger train franchise market’, said Beacon Rail Chief Operating Officer Neil Bennett when the latest acquisition was announced on July 21. ‘The Bombardier Voyager trains have proven to be successful in service and this transaction has allowed us to acquire more high quality UK passenger rolling stock.’

Committed debt financing for the transaction was provided by Credit Agricole Corporate Investment Bank and ING Bank. Allen & Overy acted as legal counsel for the lenders, Berwin Leighton Paisner for Beacon Rail and Stephenson Harwood for the sellers. DC Advisory advised the sellers.

‘In concluding the sale of the Voyager fleet to Beacon Rail Leasing we bring to an end 19 years’ association with this high quality and successful asset’, said Piers Johnson, Head of Portfolio Management Specialist Asset Finance at RBS.