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Russian Railways prepares bid for German rail operator

Deals

Russian Railways (RZD) is drafting proposals to be submitted to the government on buying a stake in German rail operator Deutsche Bahn AG, the head of the Russian company said on Thursday.

Last month, German lawmakers approved the privatization of a 24.9% stake in the state rail firm. The sale is expected to raise between $8 billion and $12 billion. Vladimir Yakunin told reporters: “These are very attractive assets. Whether or not RZD will take part [in the auction] will be decided by the government.” “We are now carrying out an analysis, and will report on the results to the government,” the head of the rail monopoly said.

The German government hopes to conclude the sale by the end of this year. The decision to go ahead with the privatization was prompted by Deutsche Bahn’s heavy losses in 2007, partly due to a strike by train drivers over pay. The partial sale has come under criticism from socialist lawmakers in the Bundestag, who have insisted that privatization must not continue beyond 25%. (rian.ru)

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