Home Estate Planning Go-Ahead: Britain’s biggest train operator back up for sale

Go-Ahead: Britain’s biggest train operator back up for sale

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Go-Ahead Group, the UK’s largest rail operator, could be up for sale as part of a wider sell-off being explored by the Canadian pension fund OPTrust.

The Ontario-based firm has brought in advisers as it looks to offload public transport interests including in Go-Ahead, The Sunday Times reported.

The news comes just over a year and a half after the UK-listed transport giant was taken private in a £650m deal backed by a number of international pension funds, including OPTrust.

Founded in 1987, Go-Ahead operates the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern rail lines. It was formerly listed on the London Stock Exchange, prior to the take-private swoop in 2022, which saw it come under the ownership of Kinetic Group and Globalvia.

OPTrust co-owns Kinetic and holds a 40 per cent stake in Globalvia.

According to sources cited by The Sunday Times, it has hired investment bankers at RBC and Macquarie to explore a potential sale of those holdings. The sources said the company had initiated a strategic review but that it might not result in an auction.

OPTrust and the Go-Ahead Group were approached for comment.

The potential sale of the British transport titan emerges shortly after the government published its Rail Reform Bill, as it looks to initiate a major shake-up in the sector following years of sub-par performance.

Labour has backed nationalising the country’s rail network and is set to outline more detailed plans soon.

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