Union deal means fourth quarter PKP Cargo IPO on Warsaw Stock Exchange
Following a deal struck with unions in August, PKP, the Polish state rail operator will go ahead with a planned sale of PKP Cargo, its freight and logistics arm, in an offering valued at around EUR 500 mln.
“The compromise is quite far from the declarations made by both sides at the beginning of talks, but it is a good compromise,” PKP CEO Jakub Karnowski said, as cited by Polish news website Wyborcza.biz.
Leszek Mietek, head of the Polish Confederation of Railway Trade Unions added that the “agreement to some extent protects the interests of workers during the privatization of the company.”
PKP has been selling assets in an attempt to reduce debts. The state railway will retain 50 per cent of PKP Cargo, and will give PLN 165 mln shares to employees under the deal negotiated with unions, which also included job guarantees. Union fears were lessened by a generally positive outlook for the company, in part thanks to a 20 per cent reduction in rail access charges across Europe next year. PKP Cargo bosses are also said to be considering takeovers as part of their expansion strategy.
The PKP Cargo offering will come at the end of a slow year for the Warsaw Stock Exchange. It will be largest debut since Alior, a bank, raised over PLN 2 bln in December last year.