Railtrack share campaign begins with pounds 1.8bn hopes
Monday 25 March 1996
Last week there were signs that Labour was softening its policy of maintaining a publicly owned and accountable railway, as evidence mounts that the sale programme is well past the point of no return.
The chances of Labour renationalising Railtrack or taking control by a back door appear to be receding rapidly.
The Railtrack sale, due in May with the pathfinder prospectus to be published next month, will take privatisation past the halfway mark, measured by turnover, and the Government is making strenuous efforts to remind potential investors of how far it has got.
With a third of the rail industry - pounds 3bn by turnover in 42 businesses - already transferred to the private sector, Railtrack will take the total privatised turnover to more than pounds 5bn.
The Government has sold franchises covering 20 per cent of the passenger services, by revenue, and another 30 per cent is on the market. It has also raised pounds 1.8 bn in cash by selling the three rolling stock leasing companies.
Six infrastructure maintenance and track renewal companies have been sold, as well as six heavy maintenance depots and a large number of other smaller companies including 12 central services businesses.
Final bids for Freightliner are in, and the sale is due shortly, while Red Star, Rail Express Systems and the trainload freight companies have been sold.
Advisers are aiming to sell 30 per cent of Railtrack - about pounds 600m of shares - to private investors, but there is no upper limit and if the marketing campaign goes well the proportion could reach 40 per cent.
The campaign is not seeking out a mass market for Railtrack shares because of the relatively small size of the privatisation. When Railtrack is quoted it will fall at the bottom end of the FT-SE 100 and may be outside it.
The television and newspaper advertising campaign will feature pictures of railways lines alone, without trains running on them, to avoid misleading the public into thinking that Railtrack shares represent an investment in trains. Railtrack is an infrastructure company that charges rail operators for the use of its track. Presentations to institutional investors have been under way for some time.
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
iJobs Money & Business
£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Technical Report Writer is re...
Competitive salary & benefits!: MBDA UK Ltd: MBDA UK LTD Indirect Procurement...
£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...