Russian Railways Interested in Ailing Bulgarian Counterpart - Report

Business | December 25, 2012, Tuesday // 13:05
Bulgaria: Russian Railways Interested in Ailing Bulgarian Counterpart - Report File photo, BGNES

The state Russian company Russian Railways is interested in the privatization of Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) freight unit, according to Russian paper Kommersant.

In mid-November, Bulgaria's Privatization Agency launched a second round privatization procedure for BDZ's Freight Services, after the first fell through.

According to rules for the procedure, only strategic and financial investors will be allowed to bid.

Strategic investors must have experience in freight railways transport in the last five years, a license to carry out such services, a safety certificate, and minimum annual revenue of EUR 100 M in the last three years.

Financial investors must manage assets and have stakes in other companies for no less than EUR 400 M annually for the last three years. The deposit to participate in the procedure is set at EUR 20 M.

Tuesday Kommersant writes that Russian Railways might be interested in the deal, and link it with prior interests in railroad assets in neighboring Greece.

As part of an ongoing austerity and cuts program, the Greek cabinet has taken up an extensive privatization program, set to include the Hellenic State Railways (SEC).

Kommersant however writes that the Russian state company's final decision will be taken after a still outstanding analysis of BDZ Freight Services' international perspectives.

The Bulgarian state has decided to sell BDZ's profit making unit, Freight Services, to cover large overdue debts and revive the state railroads' other unit, Passenger Services.

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Tags: russian railways, Hellenic State Railways, BDZ, Bulgarian State Railways, Freight Services, Passenger Services, privatize, privatization, greece, Greek, Privatization Agency, Russian
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