Romania pulled the partial privatization of the state-owned rail company after potential investors, including a US short line operator, failed to pre-qualify for the bidding process.
The Bucharest government had set the starting price for a 51 percent stake in CFR Marfa at around €180 million euros ($230 million) and planned to announce the winning bid on June 20.
The sale of the unprofitable rail company was one of several privatizations demanded by the International Monetary Fund and the European Union as part of an aid package agreed with Romania in 2011.
The Romanian Transport Ministry, which has missed several deadlines for the sale, said it will re-launch the privatization effort in the near future.
The bidders reportedly included Omnitrax, a Denver, Colo.-based rail operating and management firm, and Romania’s two largest private rail freight companies, Grup Feroviar Roman and Transferovia Grup, which was part of a consortium with Austrian investment fund Donau-Finanz.
CFR Mafra owns about 900 locomotives, many over 20 years old, and around 40,000 railcars, of which more than half are said to be out of use.