Greece has three suitors for state railways sale
HRADF said Italy’s state railways, Russian Railways (RZD) and Greek construction group GEK-Terna had signaled their interest in TRAINOSE. One of the sources said RZD and GEK-Terna were cooperating in the race for the asset.
The leftist-led government of Alexis Tsipras halted the sale of TRAINOSE along with other divestments last year, but relaunched it as part of a privatisation scheme under a bailout agreed with international lenders last summer.
The scheme is aimed at helping the country raise 6.4 billion euros by 2018 to reduce debt, which reached 180.2 percent of gross domestic product last year.
“HRADF’s advisors will evaluate, per terms and criteria stipulated in the process letter, the above expressions of interest and submit to HRADF’s board of directors their recommendation as to which candidates qualify for the next phase,” HRADF said in a statement.
The deadline for initial expressions of interest expired at 1400 GMT on Friday. Qualified potential investors will have to submit binding bids by May 31.
TRAINOSE is the sole provider of passenger and freight rail transportation in Greece and operates a 2,500 km rail network.
A source close to the matter has said that without a sale TRAINOSE could be forced to return millions of euros in state subsidies to the European Union.
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