Romania’s CFR Marfa privatization fails

Newsroom 15/10/2013 | 11:08

Authorities announced on Monday the privatization of CFR Marfa, the state-owned railway operator, collapsed over contractual disagreements with Grup Feroviar Roman (GFR), the bidder controlled by Romanian railway tycoon Gruia Stoica.

Ramona Manescu, minister of transport, said the government fulfilled its part of the deal, stating that all conditions were in place for GFR to purchase the 51 percent stake in the company for EUR 170 million. The businessman already paid EUR 30 million for CFR Marfa, out of which EUR 10 million were guarantees and the rest an advanced payment.

“The buyer could have paid today (e.n. Monday), by giving up the suspensive conditions in the contract,” said Manescu, quoted by Agerpres newswire.

Stoica said he was informed by the privatization commission that some of the bank creditors of CFR didn’t approve any change in the shareholding structure and that the Competition Council didn’t have enough time to assess the transaction, making it impossible to seal the deal.

“It is not my job to say who’s guilty, but I can tell you how disappointed I am on the way in which the transaction was carried out,” said Stoica in a statement. He said his company would bid again in the railway operator if the procedure is restarted, which has been announced by Manescu.

CFR Marfa is one of the key state-owned companies that have to be privatized, under the stand-by agreement signed with the IMF.

Ovidiu Posirca

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