Latest Rail News

23.07.18

Four bidders in final stages for major Network Rail asset sell-off

Network Rail is nearing the end of the process to sell off its giant 5,500 infrastructure estate across England and Wales worth as much as £1.2bn.

Following Goldman Sachs and the Wellcome Trust’s withdrawal from the race last week, the government-financed network is confident it will find a new owner to “invest significantly in maintaining and enhancing the estate, benefitting tenants and local communities.”

The billion-pound asset sale faced controversy in recent months with many small business owners claiming they could be driven out of their workplace by rising rents enforced by NR.

Network Rail has said the new owner will “bring more investment into the commercial estate for the benefit of tenants and local communities they serve.”

Proceeds from the sale will help to fund the railway upgrade plan, which is improving and growing the rail network for the benefit of passengers and the wider UK economy. It will reduce the need for taxpayers and fare-payers to fund the railway.

Once the business is sold, all tenant leases will transfer to the new owner and all arrangements and protections will remain unchanged.

David Biggs, managing director of Network Rail Property, said: “We are selling a thriving estate of small and independent businesses and we believe the portfolio is a highly attractive business with growth potential.

“We are proud that we have so many independent and diverse businesses thriving on our commercial estate, and for the tenants that run these it will be business as usual once the estate is sold. All lease arrangements will transfer to the new owner and all arrangements and protections will stay in place.”

He added: “The sale is completely unconnected with periodic rent reviews which are part of our normal business activity. Our rents are based on local property market values with the vast majority of reviews, around 85%, agreed at an increase of 10% or less.”

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Image credit: VictorHuang

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