HS2

11.08.16

Non-exec directors appointed to oversee £1.8bn Network Rail asset sell-off

Network Rail has appointed two non-executive directors that will help the infrastructure owner dispose of its assets to generate £1.8bn in savings through its recently-created Property Board.

Neil Sachdev and Steve Smith, who have experience working in the UK’s property and regeneration sector and have managed large-scale retail and housing developments, will enable Network Rail to “increase its property activities” by selling non-core assets – such as retail units in managed stations, on the telecoms network and depots.

Sachdev has a retail background, having worked as board property director at Sainsbury’s for seven years and currently being a non-executive at NHS Property Services Ltd. Smith was previously chief investment officer at British Land and has extensive experience in asset management and transactions, as well as general property disposal programmes.

The Property Board, part of the specialist company Network Rail Property, will also focus on releasing land for housing – a widespread commitment across the public sector – whilst reinvesting money made through asset sales.

Chris Gibb, who chairs the board, said this will allow the wider company to “focus on improved services for passengers” and ensure efficient rail operation.

“It will also enable the property business to continue to create extraordinary places from our unique asset portfolio and make stations destinations in their own right,” he added.

Managing director of Network Rail Property David Biggs added that the new non-executive directors will bring “hugely valuable commercial experience” to the company.

“I look forward to working with them to continue to unlock land for homes, drive economic growth in towns and cities and reinvest money into the rail network to help fund the Railway Upgrade Plan,” said Biggs.

Similar items in Network Rail’s savings agenda include potentially privatising parts of its controlled stations or selling off its electrical power assets, such as overhead lines, substations and pylons.

Comments

Anon   13/08/2016 at 21:38

It seems the industry never learns. We sell stuff off for peanuts, then realise it was an error and pay a fortune to get it back.

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