Railway sector in Greece

Opportunities for UK companies to arise from Greek railway service operator privatisation and subsequent modernisation/upgrading.

Market overview

As the Greek government moves ahead with the implementation of its privatisations agenda, an international tender for the privatisation of the state-owned railway service operator TRAINOSE has just been launched. In particular, an invitation to submit expressions of interest for the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of TRAINOSE S.A. was announced on 12 July 2013.

TRAINOSE is engaged in the provision of traction services for the rail transportation of passengers and freight, the development, organisation and exploitation of urban, suburban, regional and international railway services, as well as bus and combined transportation and logistics services. The network currently comprises 2,552 km of tracks. The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), the state Privatisation Fund, owns 100% of TRAINOSE share capital.

The official launch of the privatisation process has been made possible, following the company’s restructuring and streamlining of operations which began in 2008 and has resulted in positive financial results in 2012.

In order to encourage international investors, the government has agreed to provide 250m € to subsidise unprofitable routes over the next five years. Furthermore, Trainose has a portfolio of notable real estate assets, whose total value is estimated at 110m€, which will also be acquired by the investor. Another important aspect to be considered by potential investors, is the company’s recently signed deal with China’s Cosco and Hewlett Packard for a rail link between the Port of Piraeus (Ikonio) and the main line network at the Thriassio Logistics hub in Western Attica. According to this deal, the Port of Pireaus will be the US company’s main transit hub for goods heading to Europe and Middle East. This is expected to significantly increase business for the Greek railway operator.

To date, interest has been reported from Russian, French, Chinese, German, American and Greek firms.

Key opportunities

Opportunities for UK companies in the following fields of activity will arise through the privatisation of TRAINOSE:

  • Main line operators

  • Consultants – Advisors with relevant expertise

As there is imminent need for network upgrading, modernisation will follow immediately after the completion of the privatisation process, there will be requirement for:

  • Consultant Engineers

  • Project managers

  • Suppliers of railway related equipment

Any construction works that may arise, will most probably be undertaken by Greek contractors.

The bidding process will be conducted in two phases:

  • Phase A: Submission of expressions of interest – the deadline is 16 September 2013.

  • Phase B: Submission of binding financial offers by shortlisted investors.

Interested parties will need to demonstrate that, in case of a corporate entity, the average annual consolidated equity for the most recent three audited financial years exceeds €100m and if it is a private equity firm or fund, the sum of active and un-invested/uncommitted funds for the latest financial year exceeds €200m. In the case of a consortium, the financial capacity criteria must be fulfilled by each consortium member.

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Getting into the market

UK companies interested can bid independently or in a joint venture. It is recommended that UK companies cooperate with local partners who know the processes and will be able to assist with documentation requirements and monitor developments.

The UKTI team in Athens will be happy to offer advice, identify potential partners and provide bespoke on-going support.

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Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS).

To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country – or contact your local international trade team.

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Sectors: Construction and Railways
Countries: Greece
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