HUNGARY'S Ministry of Economy & Transport announced on November 27 that a consortium of Rail Cargo Austria and GySEV had submitted the best bid for the privatisation of MÁV Cargo. The Ministry's statement said negotiations with the winning consortium would start 'as soon as possible, so the contract might be signed by the first days of 2008.'

The consortium of Austrian Federal Railways' freight subsidiary Rail Cargo Austria and Austro-Hungarian cross-border railway Györ-Sopron-Ebenfurt Vasút had offered HF102·5bn for a 100% stake in Hungarian State Railways' freight business. The second-placed consortium of Slovakia's Sped-Trans and Slavia Capital bid HF86bn, while the third competitor, the Anglo-American owned Cargo Central Europe consortium, had offered HF57·138bn.

Minister of Economy & Transport János Kóka emphasised that as well as price the four bidders had been assessed on efficiency, future investment plans and staff interests (RG 11.07 p688). He said the trade union had agreed that RCA-GySEV had submitted the best bid.

MÁV Cargo reported a HF3bn profit on turnover of HF93bn for 2006, its first year as an independent business, and Chairman Gábor Dióssy expects 2007 to be profitable.

Freight businesses in 2006

MÁV Cargo Rail Cargo Austria
Sales, €m
371 2 252
Tonne-km, million 9 279 18 868
Tonnes, million 46·8 93
Mean distance, km 198 208
Gross tonnes per train 527 922
Employees 3 170 8 237
(including BEX)
owned 13 000 13 000
leased 2 000 4 000