Italy’s state railway company looks poised to buy Greece’s railway operator Trainose after being the sole bidder for the group, which is being sold under the government’s privatization program.
Privatizations are a condition of Greece’s latest international bailout but the country’s protracted economic crisis has sapped investor interest and Athens had pushed back the original deadline for binding bids for Trainose three times this year.
Ferrovie dello Stato submitted a binding bid by the time the deadline expired on Wednesday, Greece’s sell-off agency TAIPED said in a statement.
Two other potential investors, Russian Railways and Greek construction group GEK-Terna, which expressed non-binding interest in April, dropped out.
Russian Railways said in a statement that it didn’t make an offer because the information currently available, including on several key aspects of Trainose’s activities, didn’t allow it to fully assess the company’s current health and future prospects.
It said it would continue to look at other possibilities to team up with Greek partners.
Sources close to the process have said Athens expected to earn 50 million euros from the sale of Trainose and rail maintenance company Rosco together.
However, the agency said it did not receive any binding offers for Rosco, which it had also put up for sale.