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Romania relaunches sale of rail freight carrier CFR Marfa

Romania relaunches sale of rail freight carrier CFR Marfa

BUCHAREST (Romania), May 17 (SeeNews) - Romania launched a new privatisation procedure for railway freight carrier CFR Marfa and invited interested investors to apply for pre-qualification by May 23, the transport ministry said.

The ministry has set the starting price for its 51% stake in the loss-making company at 797.1 million lei ($232.7 million/180.3 million euro).

The ministry will announce the names of the pre-qualified candidates on the day the deadline for filing applications expires, the transport ministry said on Thursday.

Preliminary, non-binding bids must be then filed by June 5 and negotiations based on those offers will start the following day.

Investors can submit final offers by June 19. On June 20 the privatisation commission will open the sealed bids and pick a buyer.

On Wednesday, the commission in charge of the privatisation CFR Marfa rejected all three investors that had applied to prequalify for the process. Private railway operator Grup Feroviar Roman, a consortium made up of Austria's Donau-Finanz and Romania's Transferoviar Grup, and U.S. railway and transportation management company OmniTRAX had submitted prequalifying documents in the procedure.

CFR Marfa, wholly-owned by the state, has said it expects to post a gross loss of 211 million lei this year.

(1 euro = 4.3380 Romanian lei)