Rock Rail signs £600m rolling stock financing deal

Rock Rail

Rock Rail and Abellio Group sign contracts for the supply of 58 Flirt UK Stadler trains for the recently awarded East Anglia rail franchise

Financial Close has been reached on the £600m financing of new Stadler trains for the Abellio East Anglia franchise. The Transaction was led by Rock Rail and SL Capital (part of Standard Life Investments) with additional co-investment equity being provided by GLIL, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and London Pensions Fund Authority infrastructure investment joint venture. Senior debt is provided by a group of UK and international institutional investors together with the European Investment Bank. The debt composition was advised by DC Advisory.

Mark Swindell, founder of Rock Rail said:

“We are delighted to close our second rolling stock financing, especially in what have been volatile markets post the Brexit referendum. The highly competitive long term nature of funding provided by our Blue Chip institutional investors delivers best value for money to the East Anglia passengers and taxpayers over the life of the trains.”

Dominic Helmsley, Head of SL Capital Infrastructure said:

“SL Capital’s funding of this important upgrade to rail services in East Anglia signifies continued success of our joint venture with Rock Rail. We also see further potential to provide competitive funding for new rolling stock across the UK rail network.”

Notes to editors:

Funding consortium

Aviva Annuity UK
Legal & General Assurance Society Limited
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company
Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
Standard Life Assurance Limited
European Investment Bank


For sponsors:
Clifford Chance – legal
DC Advisory – financial
Operis Business Engineering– modelling advisory
SNC-Lavalin Rail and Transit – technical
Deloitte – tax

For funders:

CMS Cameron McKenna – legal
Deloitte – tax
Operis Business Engineering – model auditor
SNC-Lavalin Rail and Transit – technical
Willis – insurance

About Rock Rail

Rock Rail Holdings Limited is a company formed by Rock Infrastructure limited and focused on the development of large scale, strategically important rail infrastructure within the United Kingdom in partnership with public sector bodies and private sector sponsors. Rock adds value in the development of rail infrastructure funding proposals by supervising and managing legal, financial and other advisors; providing expertise in reaching financial close, on time and on budget; assuring projects are workable throughout their lives and structuring projects so that they are as attractive as possible to potential funders, train operating companies, and other interested parties.

Rock Rail Holdings has two subsidiary companies, Rock Rail Moorgate Management Ltd and Rock Rail East Anglia Management Ltd, which provide corporate management services in relation to the funding, procurement and leasing of the recently awarded train contracts for GTR’s Moorgate and Abellio’s East Anglia rail franchises.

On top of the two deals struck this year, Rock Rail is bidding to fund other new rolling stock for operators including stock on the South West and East Midlands networks. It is also structuring an approach to funding stations, depots and other parts of Network Rail.

About SL Capital

SL Capital Partners is recognised as one of the foremost private market investors, focused on providing solutions and unique investment opportunities to clients in private equity, infrastructure, strategic credit and junior debt. Over the past 18 years it has raised over €9.9 billion (c. $11.0 billion) through 25 funds, with more than 80% of this capital sourced from third party investors.
SLCI I is the infrastructure fund managed by SL Capital Partners, targeting long-term investment in core infrastructure assets in the UK and North West Europe. The Fund’s capital has been raised from pension funds from the UK, Canada and Europe.

This track record of investing in private equity (primary funds, secondary opportunities and direct co-investments), infrastructure (direct investments), strategic credit (primary funds) and junior debt (direct investments) has attracted clients ranging from leading institutional investors in the UK, US, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, to family offices and high net worth individuals. SL Capital Partners manage segregated accounts for some of the worlds’ largest pension funds. SL Capital Partners has 28 dedicated investment professionals who manage the fund, secondary and direct investment programs. In total, SL Capital Partners has 56 staff operating through offices in Edinburgh (UK), Boston (US) and Munich (Germany).


Leave a comment