Bulgaria has issued a tender for the sale of the state-owned railway company BDZ’s cargo operation.
BDZ hopes to raise between 200 million and 250 million lev ($128-$160 million) for the freight unit, BDZ Tovarnia Prevozi, which is said to have attracted interest from strategic and financial investors in Russia, Austria and Turkey.
The company carried almost 12 million metric tons of cargo in 2011, of which 70 percent was domestic traffic.
Freight is the only profitable part of BDZ, with a domestic market share of around 78 percent. The company, which employs over 4,000 people, is in urgent need of modernization. Its fleet of 220 locomotives includes 165 which are more than 30 years old, and more than 3,000 of its 4,860 rail cars are also 30 or more years old.
Potential bidders must have at least 10 years of experience in rail freight operations with minimum revenue of $500 million for each of the past three years or have managed assets worth $1.25 billion for the past three years.
Investors must submit binding bids 135 days after the tender is published in the State Gazette, or by late October/early November, the state privatization agency said.
Contact Bruce Barnard at email@example.com.