THE STATE-owned railway freight company, Železničná Spoločnosť Cargo Slovakia (ZSSK Cargo), will spin its auxiliary activities off into subsidiaries to make its operation more effective, reduce its debt and increase competitiveness.
According to the Transport Ministry, which holds 100 percent in the company, branching out non-core business activities does not mean privatisation of Cargo Slovakia, since freight transport will remain in the hands of the state, which will continue to oversee decisions about the future of the strategic company, the SITA newswire wrote on October 10.
“Our goal is to create a strong, stable and healthy railway Cargo,” said Transport Ministry spokesperson Martin Kóňa. “The philosophy of these changes is the recovery of ZSSK Cargo and to unburden it from its debts by focusing on its key activity, i.e. the transport of goods on rails. The aim is an effective operation of this strategic state company, which annually performs transport equalling roughly one million trucks and is a key player on the railway transport market.”
ZSSK Cargo will launch two subsidiaries: Cargo Wagon, to manage rolling stocks, and ZSSK Cargo Intermodal, to operate intermodal transport. ZSSK Cargo plans to offer shares in the companies to potential investors in a two-round international tender.
Those interested in Cargo Wagon should pay ZSSK Cargo €200 million for takeover of freight wagons and invest an additional €40 million into the basic capital of the new company to get a 66-percent share. The remaining 34 percent should remain in the hands of ZSSK Cargo. Cargo Wagon should thus obtain 12,400 wagons and up to 30 employees of the parent company. Part of the agreement will be the leasing of about 8,500 wagons back to the parent company for the next eight years, i.e. wagons ZSSK Cargo needs for its operation. Cargo Wagon will be able to lease the remaining wagons to other companies.
In ZSSK Cargo Intermodal, the partner and the state should hold equal shares of 50 percent. The basic capital is projected to be €30 million, while the investor should invest €17.5 million at least. The affiliation should take over about 430 wagons and up to 30 employees of ZSSK Cargo.
ZSSK Cargo may also launch a third affiliation for the maintenance and repair of wagons and engines, which would employ about 1,200 people currently working at ZSSK Cargo. In this subsidiary, the passenger railway company Železničná Spoločnost Slovensko (ZSSK Slovensko) could be the partner of ZSSK Cargo.
“The launch of a joint repair firm with ZSSK Slovensko is yet a subject of analyses,” Martin Halanda, spokesperson of ZSSK Cargo, told SITA. “Their aim is to assess whether a joint company would be able to secure repairs effectively.”
21. Oct 2013 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff