Serco sells Australian tourist railway business

Serco Group has agreed to sell its Great Southern Rail (GSR) business in Australia which includes the famous Ghan train service.

Serco announced today (March 30) that it had sold GSR, which includes The Ghan, The Indian Pacific and The Overland services,to Australian private equity firm Allegro Funds for an enterprise value plus a cash consideration of £2.5 million.

Serco said that GSR’s “historical lack of profitability” was not in line with the company’s future strategy.

The sale is the result of a strategy review undertaken by the company at the end of last year. In an announcement in November 2014, chief executive Rupert Soames said the company would be carrying out a disposal programme of non-core businesses.

Rupert Soames, group chief executive officer, said: “Great Southern Rail is an iconic and award-winning Australian tourism business operated by some great people.  However, Serco needs to concentrate on its core as a leading supplier of public services and we cannot provide the focus and investment GSR needs to thrive.

“We will continue to build a strong transport business where Serco’s capabilities can be deployed and transferred internationally, and our recent contract award to support the new North South Railway in Saudi Arabia is testament to the progress we are making.”

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