The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has sold its 5.1% stake of in Polish rail freight operator PKP Cargo, it announced on February 11, just 15 months after it bought the shares during an IPO, saying it is now happy to leave the company in the hands of institutional investors.
The development bank sold its 2.3mn shares via an accelerated bookbuild offering launched after the stock market close in Poland on February 10, it reported in a statement.
The transaction was successfully completed at a small discount to the previous day's closing price of PLN89.0 (€21) on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. It attracted strong interest from a mix of institutional investors both in Poland and internationally, the statement reads.
The EBRD bought into the second biggest railway cargo carrier in the European Union as it debuted in Warsaw on October 30 2013. State rail company PKP sold a 50% stake at the time; it relinquished control in June when it sold a further 17% to institutional investors, to leave it with a 33.01% stake.
EBRD Country Director for Poland Grzegorz Zielinski commented that PKP Cargo has demonstrated its capacity to attract high quality local and international financial investors. "The EBRD's sale should benefit the local capital market by increasing the free float of PKP Cargo's shares and is further testimony to Poland’s attractiveness to institutional investors," he said.
Sue Barrett, the EBRD's director for transport said: “The bank, as an active minority shareholder, has supported corporate governance improvements and the transformation of PKP Cargo into a more integrated, market-oriented and efficient freight carrier. We are very pleased with the results and performance that the management of PKP Cargo has achieved and see this as a sound basis for the company’s future development."
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