PRESENTING a study on options for privatising Deutsche Bahn AG to the Transport Committee in Berlin on January 17, Germany's Federal Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee called for 'a constructive debate' between the Bundestag, the Lãnder, transport associations and the railway.

The government is anxious to take a decision by the summer, and Tiefensee stressed that 'we want to discuss the questions relating to a stock-market listing with all parties in a structured process, but we also want to do it quickly'. With five options discussed in the study, prepared by consultants Booz Allen Hamilton, the time required for implementation will be a key issue. As the consultants point out, the more removed the future structure is from the status quo, the longer it will take to implement.

Tiefensee said that four criteria would be used to assess the different options: the market and competition; DB AG's ability to enter the capital markets; the effects on the federal budget; and the institutional framework. The Booz Allen Hamilton team assessed these against the five options: