The Romanian state, through the Ministry for Information Society (MSI), accepted the non-binding offer filed by Belgian postal services operator post for the acquisition of 51 percent of the state-owned shares in the National Company ‘The Romanian Post’ (CNPR),” the Minister in charge announced on Tuesday.
“Following a detailed analysis of the documents submitted by the Belgian company bpost, the Privatisation Commission concluded that they meet the specification requirements. We invite the bidder to continue due diligence procedures to move to the next stage, the submission of a firm offer for the purchase of the majority stake in the Romanian Post. We remind that the national postal services operator ended 2014 with a substantial profit after six consecutive years of loss, thus proving that it can be a valuable asset for a strategic investor,” said Minister for Information Society Sorin Grindeanu quoted by Agerpres.
According to MSI, the admission of bidder bpost in the due diligence phase of the privatization process involves mainly the access to the data room, operational meetings with the company management and the negotiation of the privatization contract.
At the end of this stage, bpost will be able to submit a firm final offer for the acquisition of the majority stake in the Romanian Post. In parallel with the due diligence phase, MSI intends to complete the debt-for-equity swap with the Romanian Post, “a decision that will increase the attractiveness of the company,” says the Minister.
Belgian postal services operator bpost made at the end of September last year a non-binding offer to purchase 51 percent in CNPR.
The Romanian Government decided on December 12, 2012 to start the privatization of the Romanian Post by contribution of private capital. This involves the acquisition by an investor of a stake representing 51 percent of the company’s share capital, the one resulting from the conversion of state liabilities into shares included.
The selection of the investor is a combination of sealed-bid auction with open-outcry bidding, preceded by negotiations based on non-binding preliminary offers.
The Romanian Post is a national company founded under Law No. 31/1990, which means that it is a self-financing entity that generates revenues on its own from commercial contracts.
In 2014 the company contributed 390 million lei (87.8 million euro) to the state budget, which is a record-high figure, given the layoffs made in previous years, which substantially reduced the payroll tax contributions.
According to MSI estimates, the Romanian Post will end 2014 with 74.3 million lei in operational profit (16.7 million euros), compared to a loss of 52 million lei (11.7 million euros) in 2012 and 35 million lei (7.8 million euro) in 2013, respectively.
Through MSI, the Romanian state owns 75 percent of the Romanian Post, and Proprietatea Fund holds 25 percent thereof. The postal operator runs a network of 5,687 post offices, the broadest distribution network nationwide, and employs 27,305 people. The Romanian Post services over 19 million people and covers more than 7.5 million addresses through its own post network.