EBRD exits Poland’s largest freight carrier PKP Cargo

By Axel  Reiserer


Successful sale reflects strong investor demand and signals strong future
 
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has sold its stake in PKP Cargo S.A. (PKP Cargo), the national provider of rail freight services and second largest freight operator in Europe.
 
The 2,286,008 shares, representing 5.1 per cent of PKP Cargo’s total shares, were sold in an accelerated bookbuild offering launched after the stock market close in Poland on 10 February 2015.
 
The transaction was successfully completed at a small discount to the previous day’s closing price of PLN 89.0 on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and attracted strong interest from a mix of institutional investors both in Poland and internationally.
 
Goldman Sachs International and Wood & Company acted as joint bookrunners for the transaction.
 
The EBRD originally acquired a stake in PKP Cargo in 2013 as part of the partial privatisation whereby PKP S.A. offered 50% of the company in an Initial Public Offering (IPO).
 
“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,” said Sue Barrett, EBRD Director, Transport.
 
Grzegorz Zielinski, EBRD Country Director for Poland added: “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.”
 
Adam Purwin, CEO of PKP Cargo, commented: “We have appreciated the strong support of the EBRD over this crucial period in the company’s history. The EBRD as an institutional investor contributed invaluably to the success of the IPO. Following its investment, the EBRD has been continuously promoting good governance and supporting the implementation of PKP Cargo’s strategy. We will maintain an efficient and mutually beneficial relationship with this multilateral institution in the future.”
 
Since the beginning of its operations in Poland in 1991, the EBRD has invested €7.3 billion in some 350 projects in the country’s economy