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TrainOSE privatization process to begin in June
A privatization process for the sale of TrainOSE will begin by June with the aim to complete a tender by the end of 2013 or early 2014, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said on Monday.
Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with the management of Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) and the managements of Hellenic Railways, TrainOSE, ErgOSE, GaiaOSE and Rosco, the Greek minister said following the transfer of TrainOSE’s shares to HRADF, a privatization process has begun and stressed that the future investor in the company should have not only the necessary capital, but experience in railway transport and a strategy as well.
“There has been a long-term process which began with a restructuring of Hellenic Railways in 2008, many steps have been made to have a fully restructured company in 2012 and to report positive results,” Hatzidakis said, adding that things were progressing well, after a settlement of legal issues with the European Union.
The minister said Hellenic Railways reported slight profits in 2012, it was debt-free and offered expertise and know-how. He added that the troika recently approved a plan to offer 50 million euros in subsidies to under-performing railway lines, while TrainOSE expanded its activities with the signing of an agreement with Hewlett-Packard and Cosco.
Hatzidakis said he will sent a letter to EU Commissioner Joaquin Almunia seeking to settle any pending legal disputes regarding Hellenic Railways. He confirmed there was investment interest for the company, although he declined to offer more details and left the door open that a tender could be in separate parts.
HRADF’s chief executive, Yiannis Emiris, said a privatization process will be a swift and tight process, noting: “Our ambition is that the tenders of Rosco and TrainOSE run in parallel and they have to”.
SOURCE: ATHENS NEWS AGENCY