New owner for The Ghan and Indian Pacific

Allegro Funds has bought Great Southern Rail, the loss-making owner and operator of  The Ghan, Indian Pacific and Overland trains and products, for just £2.5m from Serco, a troubled UK company selling non-core assets.

Allegro, an active investor that looks for turnaround opportunities, has said it will keep the present management team. Serco said it sold GSR because the business was historically unprofitable and not aligned with the rest of its transport portfolio.

“For the year to 31 December 2014, the financial result of the business was revenue of £58m and a pre-exceptional operating loss of £3m,” Serco said.

“Within the 2014 results there was an exceptional charge of £37m in relation to the business, consisting of a £23m non-cash impairment to reduce the carrying value of net assets to the estimated recoverable amount, and £14m in relation to the break costs of leases to be settled in cash by Serco in 2015.”

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