Consulting » Extraordinary Items – How to shunt a market flotation.

Extraordinary Items - How to shunt a market flotation.

You have to feel sorry for Robert Holden, finance director of London & Continental Railways - the company that's in charge of building the £6bn Channel tunnel rail link and which was awarded the loss-making Eurostar service to help finance the project.

Back in January, before the recent storm broke, we asked LCR’s press office if we might have an interview with the numbers man. (That’s him pictured, above left, beside Sir Derek “Mr Trainset” Hornby.) “Sorry,” we were told. “He is far too busy preparing for our stockmarket flotation in a few months’ time.” Forty-eight hours later, LCR wasn’t heading for a flotation, but for the first railway nationalisation since 1948 as John “Fat Controller” Prescott warned that he might take back those shiny new Eurostar trains. With forecasting skills like this, no wonder LCR can’t work out how many passengers it will have in 2052.

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