TAIPED to ask Tren­i­talia to raise its of­fer

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - ALEXAN­DRA KASSIMI

In the face of op­po­si­tion from Trans­port Min­is­ter Chris­tos Spirtzis and Train­ose’s board and union to the ef­fort to sell the rail­way ser­vice op­er­a­tor, state pri­va­ti­za­tion fund TAIPED is set this week to ask the sole suitor, Italy’s Tren­i­talia, to raise its bid for the com­pany.

Ask­ing bid­ders to im­prove their of­fer is stan­dard prac­tice, par­tic­u­larly in cases where the bid is deemed in­suf­fi­cient. How­ever, time TAIPED is aiming to se­cure an of­fer from the Ital­ian state rail­way com­pany that would be too high even for those who do not have the po­lit­i­cal will to ac­cept Train­ose’s sale, in­clud­ing Spirtzis, to re­ject.

Sources within the Euro­pean rail­way mar­ket es­ti­mate that an ac­cept­able price for Train­ose would be 25 mil­lion euros, which is what the rail­way firm has been val­ued at. The ques­tion how­ever is how this fig­ure has emerged: The earn­ings of the com­pany that have ranged be­tween 2 and 2.75 mil­lion euros over the last couple of years do not con­sti­tute a sta­ble pic­ture. In fact, it is es­ti­mated that this year it has in­curred losses from the clo­sure of the line at Idomeni, on the coun­try’s north­ern bor­der, that are equal to all of last year’s earn­ings.

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