Rock Rail Reaches Financial Close on Hitachi Trains 19 Aug 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.
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.”