October 29, 2010 / 11:00 AM / 7 years ago

Allianz, partners to make UK fast-rail bid-sources

AMSTERDAM/LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - German insurer Allianz (ALVG.DE) has tapped Britain’s largest private pension fund and one that invests the pensions of Canada’s Mounties police to make a joint bid for Britain’s sole high-speed railway, sources said.

Allianz has formed a consortium with BT (BT.L) Pension Scheme and Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP), which manages civil-service pensions, to submit a bid for High Speed 1, two sources familiar with the matter said.

High Speed 1, a 186-mph (300km per hour) route from London to the Channel Tunnel, is being sold in a 2 billion pound ($3.18 billion) auction.

    An Allianz spokesman declined to comment. A PSP spokesman did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment outside Montreal business hours. A spokeswoman for Hermes, manager of BT’s pension fund, had no immediate comment.

    A spokesman for London and Continental Railways (LCR), High Speed 1’s parent company, confirmed bids were due on Friday but declined to comment further.

    Market sources say Britain could attract offers worth some 2 billion pounds for HS1, in what would be the first privatisation since a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition took power in May, pledging to slash a record peacetime budget deficit.

    ($1=.6281 Pound)

    Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis and Quentin Webb; editing by David Hulmes

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