State privatization fund TAIPED will proclaim a new tender for railway service operator Trainose in the next few weeks, according to sources.
This will be necessary as although there is interest from new foreign candidate investors, they are not allowed to participate in the existing process because the deadline for their entry expired in October 2013.
Since then the conditions have changed considerably and the three bidders short-listed at the time are no longer as keen as they were: The interest from Russian Railways has subsided, France’s SNCF has been pretty much absent throughout, while Romanian company Grup Feroviar is facing its own serious problems.
Although TAIPED was supposed to issue a deadline for binding offers next month, it is now set to proceed with a new tender and a tight timetable, possibly within this week, banking on the declared interest of Watco Companies from the US and China, hoping that the tender it won through Cosco for the controlling stake in Piraeus port has whetted its appetite.
The privatization of TAIPED’s railway assets constitutes a Greek commitment to Brussels for the settlement of the issue of state subsidies to the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE).