June 20, 2013 / 1:33 PM / 4 years ago

Bulgaria cancels rail privatisation after asset freeze

SOFIA, June 20 (Reuters) - Bulgaria’s privatisation agency on Thursday cancelled the sale of the state railway company’s cargo unit, which had been repeatedly delayed by a freeze on assets sought by Dublin-based creditor Depfa Bank.

The sale had been expected to fetch about 100 million levs ($69 million). The Socialist-led government that took office last month wants to overhaul the unit, hoping for a better price to set against BDZ’s debts of 700 million levs.

“The sale was cancelled after the agency received a letter from BDZ, which says that the company cannot say when the asset freeze will be lifted,” the agency said in a statement.

The sale had been delayed four times since a Bulgarian court ordered the asset freeze in February.

Bulgaria’s previous centre-right government has said the BDZ - with 4,500 ageing railcars and 3,900 employees - could be rescued only by being privatised.

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