UK - The £28bn (€33bn) Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) has bid for ownership of the UK's only high-speed rail link, which links London to the Channel Tunnel.

The link, currently owned by the UK government and valued at £1.5bn, is being sold to cut the country's budget deficit.

A spokesman for GB Speedrail Group confirmed USS involvement to IPE, naming the four remaining partners as France's CDC Infrastructure, Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners, M&G's Infracapital and Eurotunnel, the company currently responsible for operating the railway infrastructure.

The spokesman added that USS brought important retail investment experience to the bid.

In 2008, the scheme bought a number of stores from supermarket chain Tescos in a sale and leaseback deal.

Earlier that same year, it spent £80m acquiring the Eden Walk Shopping Centre in Surrey from Coal Pension Properties.

However, USS is not the only pension fund reported to be involved in the bid, with Canada's Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) said to be partnering with the Ontario Teacher's Pension Plan through Borealis, the OMERS infrastructure investment arm, in a separate offer.