The German insurer joins CKI, the investment group owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing and two consortia – Eurotunnel, Goldman Sachs and M&G in one and 3i, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Morgan Stanley in the other.
The price for the railway, known as High Speed 1, is thought to be around £2bn. The 68-mile railway linking London to the Channel Tunnel is one of the most highly sought-after assets being sold by the Government in the current round of privatisations.
First-round bids were submitted in August with the second round expected soon. Other assets being sold off by the Government include the Dartford Thames crossing and the national air traffic control system.
A German bid for High Speed 1 would add to an increased volume of German investment in UK transport assets. Earlier this year, the German state-owned railway Deutsche Bahn bought rail and bus group Arriva for £1.6bn.
Deutsche Bahn also recently won a £700m order to replace the Eurostar fleet of trains.
Source : Telegraph