Globaltrans says not in merger talks with NefteTranService

MOSCOW Sun May 26, 2013 6:25am EDT

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MOSCOW May 26 (Reuters) - Rail freight operator Globaltrans said on Sunday it was not in talks with competitor NefteTransService, denying comments from industry sources that the firms were talking on a merger for the Russian market.

Three sources told Reuters on Friday that the companies were discussing a merger that would create a business with sales of $2.7 billion and control a 10 percent share of the Russian market.

"The Company consistently evaluates opportunities in the Russian rail freight market, however it is currently not engaged in any acquisition discussions with NefteTransService," Globaltrans said in a statement.

"The Company emphasises that its strategy remains to seek out growth both organically and by selective acquisitions," the statement said.

Neither companies immediately commented on Friday.

A decade ago, Russian cargo owners relied on state-owned monopoly Russian Railways as the main fleet operator, but now 70-90 percent of the country's freight fleet is privately owned.