SLOVAKIA: National freight operator ZSSK Cargo has invited expressions interest in acquiring stakes in two of the three subsidiaries which are to be established under the reform plan which the government approved in July.

ZSSK Cargo is to become purely an operating company, 100% state owned but holding stakes in new wagon management, intermodal and rolling stock maintenance businesses. The government hopes that the participation of international partners in these activities would increase management efficiency and service quality, while ZSSK Cargo would obtain funds for economic consolidation and reduction of its debt to 30% of 2012 levels.

ZSSK Cargo plans to sell a 'major share' in the ZSSK Cargo Intermodal business, and a 66% stake in the Cargo Wagon fleet management subsidiary which would purchase wagons from ZSSK Cargo and then lease them back.

Expressions of interest are to be submitted by December 2, with binding offers in March 2014 and the shares to be sold in the second half of 2014.