Polish freight operator to play a major role in European market
Supporting the regional expansion of Poland’s PKP Cargo S.A., the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing the Polish railway freight operator with a €100 million long-term multi-currency loan to finance the acquisition of Advanced World Transport (AWT), a transport and logistics operator acquired by PKP Cargo in May 2015.
AWT is based in the Czech Republic and has operations throughout central Europe. The acquisition of AWT will provide PKP Cargo with seamless border crossings with the Czech Republic, better infrastructure and the potential to become a one-stop shop for cross-border intermodal loads.
A focus on intermodal operations is a key driver for expansion on the Baltic-Adriatic-North Sea railway transportation corridor. Following the acquisition of AWT, PKP Cargo will be able to develop new routes and provide comprehensive logistics and transportation services in an extended transportation corridor.
PKP Cargo is Poland’s largest and Europe’s second-largest railway freight transport operator. The privatisation of the company was launched in October 2013 and it is currently 67 per cent owned by private investors. The EBRD supported the company’s IPO in October 2013 with the acquisition of a 5.1 per cent stake, which the Bank sold last year.
After the privatisation, PKP Cargo initiated an expansion programme to increase its role in the central European railway freight market and reduce its dependence on the domestic market. The company has approximately 25,000 employees and moved 28.5 billion tonne-kilometres of freight in 2014.
Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, said: “This is a very important step for PKP Cargo as the firm starts implementing its ambitious plans for the future. The company has strong potential and the EBRD is proud to support the growth of PKP Cargo as it becomes a major pan-European firm. Strengthening rail transport not only makes business sense but is also good for the environment as it will reduce carbon emissions.”
Grzegorz Zieliński, EBRD Director for Poland, added: “This acquisition marks a new milestone for PKP Cargo after its successful privatisation. The EBRD’s loan is a sign of our continuing commitment to the company and its plans for future growth. We are very encouraged by the company’s development and stand ready to offer our support.”
“Signing the contract with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development confirms the credibility of PKP CARGO. We have ambitious goals for the years to come which we will achieve only through the implementation of key investments. The PKP CARGO Group is an international firm, which, thanks to good financial security, has an opportunity for further development,” said Łukasz Hadyś, Member in charge of finance on the Management Board of PKP CARGO Group
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.