Aberdeen Standard Investments and Rock Rail extend partnership

Aberdeen Standard Investments (ASI) and Rock Rail have extended their partnership with an agreement to fund, purchase and then lease new fleets of trains across Europe.

ASI and Rock Rail’s first UK investment was in February 2016, to provide a £300m fleet of Desiro City Class 717 trains.

The partnership has so far provided £2bn (€2.25bn) worth of new investment in the UK rail network with strong fund flows from institutional investors and pension funds.

ASI will provide the funding from its infrastructure equity funds such as SL Capital Infrastructure Fund II.

Dominic Helmsley, head of economic infrastructure, Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “Extending our partnership with Rock Rail will allow us to continue our journey in the rail industry, and access a much wider opportunity set within Europe for our infrastructure funds and clients.”

Helmsley said the Rock ASI model will support the passenger rail industry, helping it to expand and modernise across Europe as an essential and environmentally-friendly mode of transport.

“For pension funds and insurance companies invested in our infrastructure funds, this fits with our strategy to invest in core assets which aim to provide long-term stable returns.”

Mark Swindell Rock Rail CEO said: “We have big ambitions in Europe. The opportunity is here to develop the right train investment and ownership model tailored to individual countries and rail networks.

“We aim to deliver enhanced value to both the public sector and passengers, bringing in new direct long-term investment from the institutional sector, which has investment time frames, liabilities and return requirements that are closely aligned to rolling stock as an asset class.”

Rock Rail was established in 2014 by sister company Rock Infrastructure to focus on large rail projects in the UK.

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