Estonia to buy back railway

  • 2006-09-13
  • Staff and wire reports
TALLINN - On Sept. 7 the Estonian government reiterated its position that Eesti Raudtee (Estonian Railway) must once again become a fully state-owned company.

"There are clear violations of the privatization agreement," Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said. The government, he said, continues to monitor the railway company, though no final decision has been made as to how to acquire the company.
"In any case, our wish is to reach agreement [on the price] with BRS, since a court is hardly better able to determine it," Ansip said, adding that a payment will have to be made to Baltic Rail Services, even when the privatization agreement is terminated.

Suprema, a local investment bank, submitted a concrete offer to the government on behalf of the railway's private owners. In a statement, Suprema's Juri Kao did not mention the exact price of the offer but only that it contained the price of BRS' holdings and all other terms and conditions the government should need to make a decision.
Baltic Rail Services expects a response to the offer from the government by Oct. 6.