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Croatia calls off HZ Cargo sale talks with Romania's GFR

Croatia calls off HZ Cargo sale talks with Romania's GFR

ZAGREB (Croatia), January 24 (SeeNews) - The Croatian transport ministry said on Friday it has called off the privatization talks with Romania's Grup Feroviar Roman (GFR) for a majority stake in HZ Cargo, saying the selected buyer had backtracked significantly on the terms of the submitted binding offer for the rail freight carrier.

In July, the Croatian government said it had accepted the offer for a 75% stake in HZ Cargo submitted by GFR.

Among the reasons for the move is GFR's failure in the course of the sale talks to provide relevant confirmation that it is in a position to secure substitutes for the state guarantees extended for HZ Cargo loans, the ministry said in a statement.

The sale agreement proposed by the selected buyer did not even come close to the terms of the sell-off competition or the conditions of the binding offer and as such is unacceptable, the statement said.

Among the other demands made by GFR that were deemed unacceptable, the Croatian side also listed seeking assurances that other operators would be barred from entering the market, billing the Croatian state for the cost of staff redundancies as well as seeking a second due diligence.