City grandee assembles team for tunnel link bid

Merchant banker and former treasury adviser Sir Adrian Montague has drafted in Financial Dynamics to handle comms around his bid for London & Continental Railways (LCR).

Montague, who is also chairman of British Energy and Friends Provident, has teamed up with Goldman Sachs and Lexicon Partners to form a bidding consortium which, it emerged last week, has approached LCR.

FD worked with Montague before when he led government vehicle CLG on its acquisition of Railtrack (PRWeek, 25 January 2002).

LCR, the channel tunnel rail link construction group, was selected to own and operate the link in 1996 as part of the government's public-private partnership programme. LCR's largest shareholders are engineering and construction company Bechtel, investment bank UBS and bus and rail operator National Express.

The LCR consortium is also responsible for the building and developing of stations on the channel tunnel rail link, including King's Cross St Pancras. It is due to finish its work next year.

On Monday, the Office for National Statistics reclassified LCR from the private sector to the public sector in the National Accounts. This could be a problem for Montague – as a public non-financial corporation, LCR will be under more pressure to provide value for money in its £5.2bn link construction.

LCR head of media Ben Ruse said it did not have plans to hire an agency to counter FD's efforts for Montague. But he added a review 'was possible.'

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