Brodies has built on its strong relationship with transport company Abellio by acting as lead adviser on its sale of 40% of the Greater Anglia rail franchise to global conglomerate Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (“Mitsui”). 

The transaction completed on 21 March 2017.

Mitsui has business interests in numerous different sectors, including infrastructure, integrated transportation systems, energy, and IT and communications.

The deal marks the first time a Japanese company has become a shareholder of a British train operating company.  

The deal fulfilled Abellio’s long-standing objective of finding a suitable partner to run Greater Anglia in a 60:40 joint venture. Mitsui will now work with Abellio in delivering an ambitious programme of improvements for the franchise.

The franchise agreement will see £1.4bn in investment over the next nine years, with the introduction of a completely new fleet and a commitment to cut average journey times by 10%. Abellio re-won the Greater Anglia franchise in August 2016, having first operated it from February 2012. It will continue to have a majority stake in the business and be in overall control.
Abellio and Mitsui have a proven track record of working together, having first entered into a joint venture in 2016 to bid for the West Midlands rail franchise. Brodies also advised on this joint venture.   
Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio said:
“We are delighted to have completed this deal with Mitsui, fulfilling our long standing objective of running the franchise as a 60:40 joint venture. With the introduction of Mitsui’s knowledge and experience, we look forward to delivering significant improvements for Greater Anglia’s customers, including through the introduction of a brand new fleet.”
Chris Simms, Head of Legal and Compliance at Abellio said:
"The Brodies team, led by Roger Cotton, Shuna Stirling and Alasdair Dunn, provided us with a first class service in their support of this strategically important project for us."