Monday, August 02, 2010

A Morgan Stanley-Abu Dhabi bid for U.K. high speed rail?

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Morgan Stanley and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) are reported ready to join private equity group 3i in bidding for the right to operate the 68=mile high peed line linking central London with the Channel Tunnel, a deal that could be worth $2.34 billion to $3.12 billion.

The government-owned ADIA is thought to be the world's largest sovereign wealth fund. ADIA bought a 15% stake in Gatwick Airport near London earlier this year.

Britain started the sale of the operating rights in June. Also bidding is the tunnel operator, Grouped Eurotunnel, which is working with Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners, its biggest shareholder, and Infracapital, the infrastructure arm of Prudential unit M&G, another major shareholder.