Li Ka-shing’s Cheung Kong Infrastructure (1038) announced yesterday it had finalized the acquisition of Britain’s Eversholt Rail Group for 2.5 billion (HK$29.67 billion), as the tycoon’s business empire continues to expand offshore.
The purchase of one of Britain’s three main railway rolling stock companies follows an agreement last month which allowed Li to purchase British telecom giant O2 for US$15.2 billion (HK$118.5 billion), a move that will expand his holdings in the international telecoms industry.
“CKI’s investment in UK’s rolling stock industry reflects the group’s strategy of embracing new growth opportunities through diversification and globalization,” the group said.
The firm, which announced the Eversholt acquisition in January, bought Canadian off-airport car- park business Park’N Fly in July last year and acquired Australian gas distribution company Envestra in October.
Eversholt owns 3,500 passenger trains along with more than 80 freight locomotives and nearly 1,000 freight wagons.
It was set up in 1994 as part of the privatization of British Rail.
Li announced a sweeping rearrangement of his business empire in January, largely expected to pave the way for his retirement. There has been speculation of a handover to his son Victor Li Tzar-kai.