Rail operator supervisors confirm partnership with Czech holding

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Ljubljana – The supervisory board of rail operator Slovenske Železnice on Thursday endorsed a strategic partnership with the Prague-based EP Holding in the cargo and logistics segment. The deal still has to be endorsed by the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH).

The details of the deal have not been revealed beyond the company saying that a joint venture will be formed in which Slovenske Železnice will have a 51% stake and EP Holding 49%.

Initial plans involved the strategic partner acquiring a 49% stake in the cargo division SŽ – Tovorni Promet.

Slovenske Železnice said the goal was to create a leading logistics company in South-East Europe, a region they define as comprising Slovenia, north Italy, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and the rest of the Balkans.

The financial objectives include a doubling of profits and 50% revenue growth over five years, with better competitiveness the main operational objective.

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“We will achieve that with takeovers abroad, expansion of the network and modernisation of the rolling stock,” the company said.

EP Holding is owned by Daniel Kretinsky, a Czech billionaire, and is the largest energy group in Central Europe, according to business paper Finance.

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