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UK to sell Eurostar asset for £757 million

PRESS RELEASE

March 04, 2015: The UK government has reached agreement for the sale of its entire interest in Eurostar International Limited ("Eurostar") for £757.1 million.

A consortium comprising Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and Hermes Infrastructure has agreed to acquire government's 40 percent stake in Eurostar for £585.1m. The sum exceeds expectations for the 40 percent stake when the government announced that it was inviting offers for its stake in October 2014.

eurostar-pininfarina-e320-train-3Eurostar has, on closing of the sale of the government stake, agreed to redeem HMG's preference share, providing a further £172 million.

Founded 50 years ago, CDPQ is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for 33 public and para-public pension and insurance plans. As at December 31, 2014, it held C$226 billion in net assets. As one of Canada's leading institutional fund managers, CDPQ invests globally in major financial markets, private equity and real estate. It also brings a strong track record of global infrastructure investment, with an investment portfolio valued at over C$10 billion. CDPQ holds the highest credit ratings from DBRS, Standard & Poor's and Moody's.

Hermes Infrastructure, part of Hermes Investment Management, is a UK-based fund managing approximately £3 billion on behalf of clients including the Hermes GPE Infrastructure Fund ("HIF"). Hermes Infrastructure is focused on delivering enhanced risk-adjusted returns for investors through a range of investment strategies and a diversified infrastructure portfolio.

SNCF and SNCB – the other shareholders in Eurostar – have the option (the "Pre-emption Right") to acquire HMG's 40 percent stake for a 15 percent premium to the agreed price of £585.1 million. Closing of the sale to the CDPQ and Hermes Infrastructure consortium is conditional on SNCF and SNCB not exercising the Pre-emption Right. The transaction is also conditional on regulatory approval.

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