Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund is to sell a 100% stake in Greek train operator Trainose (Photo: Nikos Klonos).

GREECE: Three expressions of interest in the purchase of a 100% stake in national train operator Trainose were submitted by the September 16 deadline, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund privatisation agency has announced.

The companies involved were not disclosed by HRADF, but local media has named them as French national train operator SNCF, Russian Railways with local partner GEK Terna, and Romania's Grampet Group, the parent company of freight operator GFR which was selected this year for the privatisation of Romanian national freight operator CFR Marfa and Croatia's HZ Cargo

Chinese company Cosco had been reported to be interested in combining its Piraeus port operations with rail services, but did not submit an expression of interest

HRADF's advisors will now evaluate the expressions of interest and recommend which candidates should progress to the next phase of the sale process. This would see the investors undertake due diligence before submitting binding financial offers.

HRADF said it envisaged that the privatisation of Trainose would 'contribute to the upgrade and development of the company's passenger and freight services, the creation of synergies with other key infrastructures of the country and the improvement in the accessibility of passengers and goods to major European markets, thus creating added value to the Greek economy and a significant number of new employment opportunities.'