Romanian Government and Proprietatea Investment Fund are to capitalize Romanian Postal Company at 50 million euros, in order to pay its outstanding taxes and debt and sell a minority stake on the stock market, Chair of the Competition Council Bogdan Chiritoiu said on Saturday.
“We’re preparing a capitalization of the Romanian postal Company. The Government is to contribute a part of the funds through the budget amendment due this fall, while Proprietatea Investment Fund will pitch in with 25 percent, according to the stakes of the two shareholders. The money will cover fines by Competition Council, as well as the company’s outstanding taxed,” Chiritoiu said. He stressed that it will not be deemed as state aid, as long as both shareholders participate in the capitalization proportionally to their stakes, and the Government shows it acts as a private shareholder.
Chiritoiu also stressed that the European Commission started an investigation into the company, at the request on the Romanian Government.
“We expect Romanian Postal Company to return a certain amount, but I think it will be a reasonable one. It is possible that Government subsidies for collective redundancies and pension distribution are deemed too high by the European Commission,” the official added.
He also said that the Government should send a draft of the decision it’s preparing as well as an agreement with the two shareholders to the EC. After receiving an answer from the EC, the Cabinet will hold the certainty that the company’s situation has been clarified as far as state aid is concerned and the plan to sell a minority stake on the stock market can move further.
“We need to be sure that the company’s past is clean. We want to plan its future, so that it won’t get in trouble with the EC in the future. The Postal Company is the only company that can distrubute correspondence in the country, so it is natural for it to receive aid for this universal service. As dor pension distribution, we need to make sure it is in agreement with the EC and that they won’t show up later saying things are not right. If all this is regulated, the Postal Company will be able to function normally, and this means selling a minority stake. There will be a consultant who will recommend a mechanism to involve private capital,” Chritoiu said, according to Agerpres.
He said that the minority stake could be sold on the stock market next year, while the State will retain the majority stake.
Romanian Postal Company is the main postal service provider in Romania, the State is a majority shareholder, with stakes shared between the Ministry of Communications and Information Society (75 percent) and Proprietatea Investment Fund (25 percent).