Green signal for Stagecoach rail deal

The Government yesterday cleared the way for further mergers in the privatised rail industry by giving the go-ahead for Stagecoach's pounds 825m takeover of the train leasing company, Porterbrook.

Approval for the deal will make millionaires out of many of Porterbrook's 50 staff, led by managing director Sandy Anderson, who will make pounds 36.2m out of his shares in the company.

John Taylor, the corporate and consumer affairs minister, said he had decided not to refer the proposed takeover to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, provided Stagecoach gave legally-binding undertakings to overcome competition concerns.

The undertakings, which will be policed by of the Office of Fair Trading, are designed to prevent Stagecoach from using Porterbrook to cross-subsidise its passenger rail franchises and discriminating against rival train operators.

The Government sold Porterbrook to a management buyout team backed by Charterhouse Development Capital for pounds 527m only 10 months ago.

Approval for the takeover by Stagecoach is now likely to trigger consolidation among other train operating and train leasing companies. Nomura, which bought one of the other two rolling stock leasing companies, Angel Train Contracts, for pounds 700m has already indicated that it will seek a link-up with a train operator.

The undertakings also require Stagecoach to publish separate accounts for its train operating and rolling stock businesses and not to use information gained from Porterbrook about competitors to help its existing passenger franchises or to aid it when tendering for further franchises.

Stagecoach already runs South West Trains and the Island Line on the Isle of Wight and has been shortlisted for Merseyrail. It also intends to bid for the seven franchises still to be put out to tender.

Keith Cochrane, Stagecoach's finance director, said the undertakings were broadly in line with those the company had offered itself when it announced the bid for Porterbrook in July.

He said the approval would enable Porterbrook to proceed with a pounds 90m order for 30 new trains for South West Trains.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy