Network Rail regulation and performance

18.07.18

Banking giant pulls out of blockbuster £1.2bn Network Rail arches deal

 A partnership targeting the acquisition of Network Rail’s infrastructure arches have dropped out of the major £1.2bn race.

Goldman Sachs and the Wellcome Trust charity dropped out of the running for the bid which would purchase all 5,500 of Network Rail’s arches, which are home to local businesses and entrepreneurs across the country.

Network Rail told RTM that a number of bidders have been taken forward into the next phase of the process, but whilst the sale is ongoing it is not able to give any more detail about the shortlist.

The sale has created some controversy across businesses which currently operate in the arches— some business-owners have claimed they have been forced to close due to increasing rents enforced by Network Rail, but the infrastructure owner has explained that the rent increases are agreed at a cap of 10%.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are selling our commercial estate business because ultimately our role is to run, improve and grow the railway, and managing commercial estate properties isn’t essential to that.

“Proceeds from the sale will be reinvested into the railway, helping to fund the railway upgrade plan, which is the biggest transformation programme since Victorian times. It means we can deliver major improvements without placing an extra burden on the public purse.”

The spokesperson went on to say that a new owner will “bring more investment into the commercial estate for the benefit of tenants and the local communities they serve.”

Goldman Sachs has declined to comment on the story. The Wellcome Trust has been approached for comment.

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Image credit: jimmcdowall, iStock images

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