November 06, 2013

Greek rail privatisation enters final phase

Written by  Keith Fender
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Greek rail privatisation enters final phase Keith Fender

GREECE'S Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) announced on October 31 that three bids for the sale of national train operating company Trainose have qualified for the final stage of the privatisation process.

A joint venture of Russian Railways (RZD) and Greek property and energy group Gek Terna; French National Railways (SNCF) subsidiary SNCF Participations; and Romanian open-access operator Grup Ferroviar Roman (GFR) have been granted access to detailed financial information for the preparation of final bids.

HRDAF also announced that three bidders, including the RDZ/Gek Terna joint venture, Siemens, and a partnership between Alstom and Damco Energy, Greece, have qualified for the acquisition of Hellenic Company for Rolling Stock Maintenance (Rosco).

Following a review of additional information now being provided by HRDAF, the qualified bidders will be required to submit final offers for the two businesses by the end of the year.

Trainose lost €187m in 2010 but its financial situation has improved dramatically in recent years, with the company generating a pre-tax profit of €1.2m in 2012. The company generated revenues of €140m, which includes a €50m public service obligation (PSO) payment from the Greek government. The government has pledged to continue paying the €50m PSO to Trainose until 2018 for non-commercial passenger services.

Long-term track access and rolling stock leasing arrangements are included in the privatisation, together with financial restructuring to write off around €800m of debt owed by Trainose.

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