(London) – Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’), today announced it has provided senior debt financing in the recently-closed £400 million deal towards a new fleet of trains for Abellio UK’s newly-renamed East Midlands Railway franchise. Aviva Investors was the largest funder within the group of investors.
The deal will see a fleet of 33 state-of-the-art, five-carriage trains being introduced across the Midland Main Line which connects cities including Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester and Derby with London St Pancras. The fleet is expected to be operational by 2022.
Built by Hitachi and based on bullet train technology, the trains will offer improved passenger experience, superior operational efficiencies and greater environmental credentials.
The provision of financing by Aviva Investors represents its second rail industry deal in as many months, following financial close on €1.45bn of debt with Beacon Rail, to help refinance existing facilities and provide expansion funding to support the continued growth of the business.
The transaction Sponsor team was led by Rock Rail and Japan Infrastructure Initiative.
Sinéad Walshe, Director, Infrastructure Debt at Aviva Investors, said:
“This deal further demonstrates Aviva Investors' commitment to developing UK transport infrastructure, improving social connectivity and enhancing rail services for passengers. ESG represents a substantial consideration within our investment process. These Hitachi Bi-mode trains will deliver strong environmental benefits relative to the current East Midlands rolling stock, and provide high-quality assets which can deliver stable, long terms returns and meet the investment requirements of our clients.”
Infrastructure debt is a key part of Aviva Investors’ £45 billion Real Assets platform1. Darryl Murphy leads a team of 25 professionals based in London, Paris and Toronto, managing over £8.8 billion of assets globally. Aviva Investors is a leading pan-European infrastructure lender, having been recognised as ‘European Alternative Lender of the Year’ in 20182.
1. Aviva Investors at 30 June 2019
2. IJGlobal Awards 2018