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ZSSK Cargo negotiates with Swiss

The sale of ZSSK Cargo’s wagons to Swiss company Ahaus Alstatter Eisenbahn Cargo has not been completed yet and negotiations are going on, even though it was originally expected that the deal would be closed in June, the Sme daily wrote.

The sale of ZSSK Cargo’s wagons to Swiss company Ahaus Alstatter Eisenbahn Cargo has not been completed yet and negotiations are going on, even though it was originally expected that the deal would be closed in June, the Sme daily wrote.

In June, the Swiss company won the competition over the purchase of a 66-percent stake in Cargo Wagon, a subsidiary of the state-run railway freight carrier Cargo, as it was the only company meeting the conditions of the tender. Simultaneously, it promised to buy from ZSSK Cargo 12,344 cargo wagons for €216.66 million and to rent 8,218 wagons back to ZSSK Cargo for €10.35 per wagon a day for eight years with the option for the next eight years. Thus the rental of wagons for eight years would cost the state over €248 million.

ZSSK Cargo wants in this way to reduce its debt from €450 million to €150 million from 2012 to 2016.

The privatisation of ZSSK Cargo has raised criticism within the opposition.

Ondrej Matej, the former director of the passenger rail company ZSSK who now works in the Institute of Transport and Economy, says that the delay confirms his former criticism of the way of privatization of Cargo.

“The two-month delay confirms that the tender was only a comedy for the public and that they are negotiating real terms [of the deal] only now,” Matej told the daily in mid-September.

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