October 4, 2018 / 5:18 PM / 2 months ago

Russian Railways aims to cut Gefco stake to 40 percent in 2020: document

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Railways (RZhD) plans to cut its stake in logistics firm Gefco to 40 percent in 2020 but aims to retain control and continue consolidating its financial results, according to Russian Railways’ documents obtained by Reuters.

Gefco, whose main business is servicing the car industry, is a former subsidiary of France’s PSA Group. The French carmaker sold 75 percent of the company to Russian Railways in 2012 for 800 million euros ($921 million).

In 2017, RZhD said it was considering selling down its stake and that it would be happy with 50 percent plus one share.

But according to a document enclosed in RZhD’s strategy to 2025, a copy of which was obtained by Reuters, the company now expects to own a 40 percent stake in 2020.

The document and the strategy have been sent to the Russian government, which controls RZhD, for approval, an industry source said.

It envisages, however, retaining control and continuing to consolidate Gefco’s results in its own financial statements. It was not clear how RZhD planned to keep control after its stake falls below 50 percent.

A spokeswoman for RZhD said the company was considering cutting its stake while retaining control in Gefco but declined to provide any details.

PSA, which still owns 25 percent of Gefco, said in March it no longer needed its stake.

Company spokesman Pierre-Olivier Salmon said on Thursday that the position had not changed, declining to comment further.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; Additional reporting by Laurence Frost in Paris; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and David Evans

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