Bulgaria Hastens to Privatize Profitable Railway Freight Service

Business | January 8, 2012, Sunday // 18:14
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Hastens to Privatize Profitable Railway Freight Service Bulgarian Privatization Agency chief Emil Karanikolov. Photo by BGNES

The Freight Services of the Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) company could be privatized before the end of the first half of 2012, said Bulgarian Privatization Agency head Emil Karanikolov.

"We are not in a hurry, but work on this deal is progressing well," said the Privatization Agency chair in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio Sunday.

The Bulgarian state had announced it hopes to get some BGN 100 M from selling the profitable Railway Freight Service.

"By January 19, the legal analysis of the offer will be ready. After that we are going to review it and announce the procedure," said Karanikolov.

The Freight Service is the profit-making unit of the financially ailing Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) company, which has suffered severe financial problems as a whole.

BDZ's total debts amounted to BGN 771 M as of October 2011, which has provoked Bulgarian Minister of Transport Ivaylo Moskovski to describe it as being "technically bankrupt."

A major layoff plan to cut spending by BDZ provoked a general two-week strike by railway employees December 2011.

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Tags: Emil Karanikolov, BDZ, Freight Services, Ivaylo Moskovski, Strike, Privatization Agency, privatization, debts

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