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Dealwatch: Freshfields and Linklaters stationed on multibillion pound train leasing sale

Magic Circle duo Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Linklaters have advised on the sale of Porterbrook Rail Finance, one of the three major train leasing companies in the UK.

The deal sees a consortium made up of asset management firms iCON Infrastructure Partners, Antin Infrastructure Partners, and Canadian pensions group OP Trust, sell their indirect interests to a group made up of investment funds Alberta Investment Management Corporation, Allianz Capital Partners, EDF Invest and Hastings Funds Management. The deal is reported to be worth around £2bn, although neither party has published the value of the deal.

The sellers of Porterbrook, which owns and manages 5,900 passenger and freight vehicles, were advised by Freshfields’ London-based corporate partners Claire Wills and Richard Thexton. Partners Helen Lethaby and Alastair Chapman provided tax and competition advice, respectively.

Linklaters advised the buyers, with corporate partner Jessamy Gallagher spearheading the deal. Gallagher was assisted by London-based Lynne Walkington, who advised on the tax aspects.

Paul Francis, managing director of Porterbrook, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome AIMCo, ACP, EDF Invest and Hastings as new investors to our business. Their long term approach and capital resources will position Porterbrook well to lead the next phase of growth in the rail industry.’