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The bids submitted by the three pre-qualified companies for the privatisation of CFR Marfa were incomplete, but the privatisation procedure will be resumed and the initial term set for announcing a winner will be met, Transport Minister Relu Fenechiu assured. The transport official also noted the authorities would publish again, on May 16, the notice for the privatisation of CFR Marfa, the privatisation procedure would be resumed and the initial term set for announcing the winner – June 20, 2013 – would be met, with a delay of no more than 2-3 days. According to an announcement made Thursday by the Ministry of Transport (MT), the individuals who want to participate on their own must bring fiscal statements proving the existence of an average annual income (or an average turnover) of minimum EUR 20 M, five times less, resulting from freight transport operations for the last three complete fiscal years. The tender for CFR Marfa privatization starts at EUR 180 M. Potential buyers who are on the short list must file by  June 5 rhe preliminary non-binding offer.Prime Minister Victor Ponta, in turn, hopes the privatisation of CFR Marfa is not a failure ‘up to the end’ and still believes that the interested buyers are not ‘phantom companies’, but reliable and powerful groups. Ponta suspects the problems might have been caused by the too short time bidders had to prepare the documents required. He noted that the cancellation had not happened because of a fault of the ministry. ‘All three companies are reliable and powerful companies, they are not phantom companies, but, probably also because of the very short deadlines we set – because we also have this deadline of the IMF Board – they were unable to produce absolutely all documents on time,’ Ponta also said. According to him, Transport Minister Relu Fenechiu has two objectives to accomplish: the privatisation of CFR Marfa and the deblocking of the Transport Operational Programme, after which ‘the line will be drawn’. The IMF is also discussing with Romanian authorities to identify the best solutions for CFR Marfa, the IMF resident representative for Romania and Bulgaria, Tonny Lybek, says.

The privatisation of CFR Marfa will be done by a procedure of sale of shares using combined methods, with pre-qualification criteria, consisting of negotiation based on preliminary and unbinding tenders followed by an auction with the bid sealed in envelope for a majority package of 51 per cent of the registered share capital of the company. The auction for 51 per cent of CFR Marfa starts from EUR 180 M. The documentation for the pre-qualification for the privatisation of CFR Marfa has been submitted by American company OmniTRAX, Grup Feroviar Roman (GFR) and the association of Transferoviar Grup (TFG) and Donau-Finanz GmbH & Co KG Austria. According to jurnalul.ro, OmniTRAX was represented in the process by Philip Bloom, an American citizen convicted of money laundering and fraud.

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