ZAGREB Jan 24 Croatia said on Friday a
privatisation deal for the sale of state railway cargo unit HZ
Cargo to a Romanian buyer had fallen through.
The Croatian transport ministry said in a statement the
buyer, Grup Feroviar Roman, had changed some conditions for the
purchase from those it put forward in a binding bid, and that it
could not continue with the sale under such circumstances.
Grup Feroviar Roman, a member of Romania's Grampet Group,
was in talks to buy 75 percent of HZ Cargo. It could not
immediately be reached for comment.
Grampet Group, founded in 1999, is the largest private rail
group in southeastern Europe.
Croatia, the newest European Union member, is struggling to
reduce its budget deficit from the current 5.5 percent of gross
domestic product (GDP) to below three percent, as required by
the European Commission which gave Zagreb three years - until
the end of 2016 - to achieve that goal.
Privatising some state-owned companies and selling a
concession for operating highways are part of Croatia's plan to
fill state coffers and reduce public debt which exceeded 60
percent of GDP.
The ministry said it would announce further plans for HZ
Cargo next week.
(Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Mark Potter)