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.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...