BUSINESS

Greece names Italian railways winner for Trainose

ANGELIKI KOUTANTOU

TAGS: Business, Transport, Privatizations

Italian railways will buy Greece's rail company Trainose after Athens accepted the group's 45 million euro ($50 million) bid on Thursday, saving the company from closure.

Privatizations are a condition of Greece's latest international bailout but its protracted economic crisis has sapped investor interest. Athens had pushed back the original deadline for binding bids for Trainose three times this year.

Italy's state railways Ferrovie dello Stato last week submitted the sole binding bid for Trainose, which is being sold under Greece's privatization program.

The Italian group's offer has been approved by the board of Greece's privatization agency (HRADF) which convened on Thursday to unseal the financial bid.

Without the sale, Trainose would have had to return more than 700 million euros in state aid to the European Union, forcing it to shut.

Athens has been trying to sell the asset since 2013 but a government change and political hurdles held up the sale.

"HRADF concludes a process which started three years ago and secures Trainose's viability and its future growth," HRADF said in a statement.

Rail workers have been on strike for almost a week protesting against the sale.

[Reuters]

Online