Czech billionaire to buy part of Slovenian railways

Energy and Industrial Holding (EPH) group of Daniel Křetínský, one of the richest people in the Czech Republic, will receive over 49% of the freight division of Slovenian State Railways (Slovenske železnice), reports railway magazine «Railway Supply» referring news portal

Daniel Kretinsky. Photographer: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP

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The EPH Group, founded in 2009, is active in the Czech Republic and Europe with a wide range of activities. It consists of several companies: the EP Infrastructure group, EP Power Europe and EP Logistics International, which brings together companies in the fields of infrastructure, power generation, mining, logistics, coal trading and renewable energy sources.

The EPH Group expands its business in Slovenia by purchasing 49% of the Slovenian State Railways’ freight division. The information about the sale of part of the Slovenian railways was confirmed by the supervisory board of the company and published in the country’s media. At the same time, the price of the transaction is not mentioned, which has not yet been approved by the holding company Slovenski Državni Holding.

The deal is unofficially priced at 60 to 100 million euros. It would be completed within six months.

The Slovenian railway company has been looking for a strategic partner for its cargo division SŽ-Tovorni promet since 2017. Director of Slovenian Railways Dusan Mes said that the association aims to create a leading logistics company. in Southeast Europe, which will be competitive in Northern Europe, as well as Italy, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and the Balkans.

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German portal Verkehrs Rundschau reports that the newly formed company may compete with Rail Cargo Austria, which is part of the Austrian state-owned company ÖBB.

The companies belonging to the EPH group employ about 25,000 people. In 2017 Daniel Křetínský became the majority owner of the holding, which now owns 94% of the shares. It includes over 70 companies in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, Hungary, France, Poland and Switzerland.

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