Former top PFI adviser Sir Adrian Montague has launched a bid to buy London & Continental Railways, the company behind the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
Montague, previously deputy chairman of Network Rail and chairman of Crossrail, has teamed up with investment bank Goldman Sachs for the bid.
He is seen as responsible for making PFI a viable commercial proposition during two years at the Treasury and then as deputy chairman of Partnerships UK. He is now chairman of British Energy.
It is understood that other infrastructure investors such as Australian bank Macquarie and city dealmaker Guy Hands are interested in LCR, which co-owns Eurostar.
No discussions over a price for the firm have yet taken place, but any offer would have to take into account LCR's £5.8bn of debt.
Shareholders in the firm, which is due to complete the second phase of CTRL next year, include US engineer Bechtel, investment bank UBS, train and coach operator National Express and French utilities firms SNCF and EDF.