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  • Rock Rail Reaches Financial Close on Hitachi Trains

    19 August 2019

    On 16 August 2019, Rock Rail reached financial close on the £400 million financing of new Hitachi trains for Abellio UK’s new East Midlands Railway. The transaction was led by Rock Rail and Japan Infrastructure Initiative (“JII”), and the fleet will be financed through Rock Rail East Midlands and leased to Abellio for the life of the franchise.

    The new state-of-the-art Hitachi intercity fleet will start operating in 2022, serving the main cities and towns on the Midland Main Line to and from London St Pancras. Based on bullet train technology, the 33 five-carriage units will offer significant passenger, operational and environmental benefits.

    The senior debt for the project is provided by UK and international institutional investors with the funder group comprising of Aberdeen Standard Investments, Aviva Investors (on behalf of Aviva Life & Pensions UK), Scottish Widows and Sun Life Investments.

    Operis acted as financial modelling advisor to Rock Rail on the transaction and an independent team from Operis also provided model audit services on behalf of the senior lenders.

    Commenting on reaching Financial Close, Mark Swindell CEO Rock Rail, said:

    “This long term, highly competitive funding enables significantly enhanced value for money to rail passengers over the life of the trains.”

    Naoki Nishida, President & CEO of JII, said:

    “We are very pleased to team up with Rock Rail again on this landmark transaction. We look forward to working closely with all of our stakeholders, to ensure long-term success of the East Midlands Railway.”

    David Rose, Head of Advisory at Operis, said:

    “This is the fourth project we have advised Rock Rail on and they continue to innovate and develop structures to raise competitive finance to deliver new rolling stock to the UK market.”

    The Operis team supported the Rock team on all four of its new rolling stock deals to date.  The successful close for East Midlands Railway follows the Moorgate deal with Govia Thameslink Railway and the East Anglia franchise transaction with Abellio, both in 2016 and the South Western project with First and MTR in 2017.

    Operis’s advisors can help with your project

    We understand the level of service that our clients demand from a financial advisor and that this should complement rather than replicate the experience and skills that they have in-house.

    Contact Operis’s Head of Advisory, David Rose and Director, Chris Aldred regarding any questions or projects you would like to discuss.



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