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.