The UK government has announced that it has sold all of its shares in Eurostar after it reached a £757m deal with an Anglo-Canadian consortium.
The 40% of the channel tunnel operator owned by the government was sold to Patina Rail LLP, which is made up of Canadian public pension fund Caisse de Depot du Placement du Quebec (CDPQ) and the British asset manager Hermes Infrastructure.
The consortium purchased the stake for £585.1m. Eurostar then agreed to redeem the government's preference share, providing the Treasury with an additional £172m, taking the total to £757.1m.
The government has been trying to get rid of its Eurostar stake since 2013 when it outlined in the Autumn Statement and National Infrastructure Plan that it hoped to make £20bn from corporate and financial asset sales by 2020.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: "It's great that we have reached an agreement to sell the UK's shareholding in Eurostar that delivers a fantastic deal for UK taxpayers that exceeds expectations.
"Investing in the best quality infrastructure for Britain, getting the best value for money for the taxpayer and tackling our country's debts are key parts of our long term economic plan, and in today's agreement, we are delivering on all three."
Macky Tall, Senior Vice-President, Private Equity and Infrastructure, CDPQ, added: "Alongside leading industry players, we are becoming partners of a highly strategic asset that will generate stable and predictable returns for our clients.
"It serves as a model for operational efficiency and we intend to be a partner in its growth for many years to come."
CDPQ will control 30% and Hermes 10% with the French and Belgian National railways continuing to own the rest.