Corus sells 50% stake in UK rail firm

Corus sells 50% stake in UK rail firm

London: Indian conglomerate Tata-owned Corus has sold its 50% stake in GrantRail Group to its Netherlands-based joint venture partner VolkerWessels.

However, the financial details of the transaction could not be ascertained immediately.

Following the development, railway infrastructure services firm GrantRail, which was a 50:50 joint venture between Corus and VolkerWessels, has become a fully-owned entity of the Dutch firm.

“VolkerWessels is taking full ownership of GrantRail Group with the purchase of the 50% stake holding owned by its joint venture partner, Corus," GrantRail Group said.

The acquisition by global rail and construction group VolkerWessels of Corus’ stake in the UK-based firm was completed on Wednesday, it said, adding that the company’s name would remain unchanged.

“The GrantRail Group will leverage the extensive European rail infrastructure capabilities of VolkerWessels and continue to grow and expand, not only as a leading contractor in the railways but also as a key part of the VolkerWessels activities in the UK in years to come," said GrantRail Group CEO Gren Edwards said.

Doncaster-based GrantRail Group was formed in 1996 as a 50-50 JV between VolkerWessels and the Europe’s second largest steel maker Corus.

“GrantRail was not part of our core steel production activities. The additional expertise available from VolkerWessels will help GrantRail to continue to develop and grow in future," Corus Rail managing director Joe Guerin said.

GrantRail’s chief executive Edwards added,“...going forward provides an enhanced focus offering greater breadth and depth to our activities in UK and Ireland."

VolkerWessels executive director Jan Kees de Pagter said, “GrantRail will increasingly strengthen its links with VolkerWessels other UK business to offer a broader portfolio of turnkey services to our customers."

He added that the acquisition confirms VolkerWessels confidence in the business and supports company’s strategy to expand its activities in UK’s infrastructure sector.

Meanwhile, India’s largest private steel producer Tata Steel in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange said that its subsidiary Corus UK has sold its 50% stake held in GrantRail Group to VolkerWessels.

“Corus UK sold its 50% stake held in GrantRail Group to VolkerWessels, its joint venture partner. GrantRail is providing rail infrastructure services and is not part of Corus’ core business, i.e. steel production activities," it said.