Russian Railways has sold the remaining 25 percent stake in Freight One for 50 billion roubles ($1.6 billion) to Independent Transport Company, which already owned most of the rail cargo operator’s shares.
ITC, controlled by Russian steel billionaire Vladimir Lisin, acquired 75 percent minus two shares of Freight One from Russian Railways for $4.2 billion at an auction in November 2011 that marked the Russian rail sector’s biggest privatization.
Freight One operates nearly 200,000 rail cars, a fifth of Russia’s total rail freight fleet, and transports a quarter of the nation’s freight, mainly bulk cargoes, across the world’s second largest rail network.
Russian Railways has divested much of its freight operations into stand-alone subsidiaries, but it retains a 50 percent stake in Transcontainer, a rail container operator listed on the London stock exchange.
The state-owned company paid $1.05 billion in September for a 75 percent controling stake in Gefco Logistics, a unit of French car maker Peugeot. It said the acquisition would help it emulate rail companies, such as Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, that have established global logistics operations.
Lisin, ranked second in Forbes 2012 list of richest Russians, with a fortune of $15.9 billion, has significant transport interests, including stakes in St. Petersburg Sea Port and Tuaspse Commercial Sea Port and several domestic shipping companies.