The process of selling the assets of Operail

Added on 08.09.2022

Due to heightened media interest, we are clarifying the process of selling the assets of Operail.

The Estonian state, the owner of AS Operail, started the process of the partial privatisation of Operail 1.5 years ago. It was decided to privatise those business directions that are non-strategic and operate without market failure: the rental business of wagons, the locomotive construction and repair business, and the Finnish freight business.

The plan was to sell the business to a strategic or financial investor – there was no intention to go public. Superia, an independent company specialising in large transactions, was hired to manage the process.

Unfortunately, due to the start of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, the sale of companies was suspended, and instead, the sale of assets was deemed the best strategy in the new situation.

The process of selling the assets of AS Operail is standard: very large and specific assets are almost always sold through a competition organised by a special advisor, inviting only those parties with real money and interest to participate.

The offer was sent to 35 investors. Nearly half of them made an initial offer, of which 8 will continue the process.

The process is transparent and documented, but disclosing details in the middle of the sales process does not make sense from a business perspective. The aim is to sell the assets in a way that is most profitable for the state.