Public Private Partnership: London Underground Limited
In 2007, Hong Kong MTR Corporation Limited (MTRC) was offered a 20% stake in Metronet Rail (Metronet), one of the two private sector engineering consortia contracted to run and maintain the London Underground rail network, under a 30-year public private partnership (PPP) agreement with London Underground Limited (LUL). This investment had the potential to transform MTRC from a local rail operator into an international player, giving the Company a major foothold in operating urban rail systems in Europe. However, the LUL PPP was widely regarded as one of the most complex private finance arrangements in the UK public sector, and there were a host of uncertainties for Hong Kong MTRC to contend with about its ability to make a success of the project. This case would allow students to explore the motives behind the PPP agreements to operate government assets and the implications of PPP for management's operating and financial strategy. At the same time, students can also evaluate the offer made to the MTRC and the appropriateness of the Company's acceptance.