Electroputere Craiova sells controlling stake to Al-Arrab Contracting Company Ltd

Romania will sell 63 percent of Electroputere Craiova, which manufactures train engines, generators and electrical transformers, to a Saudi-based company.

The Romanian company carried debts of more than 44 million EUR(US$64 million) and was close to insolvency. The buyer is Al-Arrab Contracting Company Ltd.

The total value of the deal, which includes investments and the payment of debts, is €120 million (US$174 million). The price of the shares alone was 2.34 million EUR(US$ 3.4 million).

"The company was in an unfortunate situation," said Teodor Atanasiu, who signed the contract for Romanian authorities. "The only solution to continue its activity was the involvement of a strong investor."

This was the sixth attempt to sell the company, which was set up in 1949.

Al-Arrab intends to export the engines produced in Craiova to countries in the Persian Gulf.

"At the moment, Saudi Arabia intends to develop its railway infrastructure and we want Electoputere engines to take part in this ambitious project", said Said Bahjad Said, the chairman of Al-Arrab Contracting. He said his priorities will be to invest in new technology for the production of train engines and to make Electroputere Craiova profitable by the end of 2009.

Al-Arrab Contracting builds railways, airlines, power stations, hospitals, offices and schools.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova