Romanian Grup Feroviar Roman (GFR), a railway freight operator, has successfully bid close to EUR 202 million for a 51 percent stake in state-owned railway freight operator CFR Marfa.
GFR remained the only bidder in the race for CFR Marfa after the Transferoviar-Donau Finanz consortium withdrew its offer and OmniTRAX was rejected in the initial privatization stages. Both companies are contesting the privatization process.
The winning bidder will invest roughly EUR 200 million in CFR Marfa in the years to come and EUR 1.5 million for environmental works.
Relu Fenechiu, transport ministry, said: “We hope to sign the privatization contract in the near future and we hope this company to become profitable, a leading company for Romania.” He added that GFR has to make the payment in two months from the contract signing.
GFR is part of the Grampet group that is controlled by the Romanian businessperson Gruia Stoica. The railway operator employs around 9,000 people and holds a 30 percent market share in the freight business.
The potential monopoly position of GFR arising from the CFR Marfa deal will be analyzed by the Competition Council, said Fenechiu.
The sale of a majority stake in CFR Marfa is part of the reform program agreed by Romania with international lenders.