ABELLIO HAS completed the sale of a 40% stake in the Greater Anglia franchise to Japanese firm Mitsui.

The company announced in January that it intended to sell the stake, subject to approval from the Department for Transport, which has been received. Abellio will continue to have a majority stake in the business and will retain overall control, while Mitsui ‘will have a presence on the board and bring its experience of operating in numerous different sectors to the franchise’.

Abellio says the move fulfils a long-standing objective ‘of running the franchise in a 60:40 joint venture’. The company had originally been shortlisted to bid for the franchise, which began in October 2016, in a 60:40 joint venture with Stagecoach until that company pulled out of the deal, leaving Abellio to bid alone. Abellio is also partnering with Mitsui and East Japan Railway Company (J-Trec) on its bid for the next West Midlands franchise, which is due to be awarded in October.