The companies which handed in their expressions of interest were French train operator SNCF, Romania’s Grampet Group and Greek building group GEK Terna in cooperation with Russian Railways RZD, a source close to the talks said on condition of anonymity.
Selling-off state assets is a central condition of Greece’s two bailouts by the European Union and International Monetary Fund worth 240 billion euros and Athens needs to raise 1.6 billion euros from privatisations this year.
Officials hope the Trainose sale will raise 200 million euros.
Trainose operates all cargo and passenger routes on 2,500 km of railways over 500 routes, according to the company’s website. The railway network, including track and other infrastructure, is owned by the Railway Organization of Greece (OSE).
Since the country’s debt crisis broke out in late 2009, Trainose has been restructured with 1.4 billion euros in government funding, which has been used to close loss-making routes and cut nearly half the staff.
HRADF said the privatisation of Trainose would help upgrade the network, improve access for passengers and goods to the rest of Europe and create jobs. (Reuters)