SLOVAKIA: European wagon leasing company AAE has been selected to acquire a majority stake in the Cargo Wagon fleet management subsidiary of state-owned freight operator ZSSK Cargo for €7m.In July 2013 the government approved a restructuring plan under which ZSSK Cargo is to concentrate on freight operations, with its wagon management, intermodal and rolling stock maintenance activities to be taken over by three new subsidiaries. While ZSSK Cargo is to remain state-owned, international partners were sought to acquire stakes in the Cargo Wagon fleet management and ZSSK Cargo Intermodal businesses which were formally established in October 2013. ZSSK Cargo is to use the proceeds to reduce debt.Under the deal announced on June 6, AAE is to pay €7m for a 66% stake in Cargo Wagon, with ZSSK Cargo retaining 34%. Cargo Wagon will purchase 12 450 wagons from ZSSK Cargo for €180m, with 8 218 to be leased back to ZSSK Cargo under long-term contracts. ‘Apart from the price we offered, the comprehensive concept for the subsequent marketing of the wagons was decisive, supported by our many years of experience in this field as well as the spirit of partnership which we have developed with ZSSK and Slovakia over the last 20 years’, said AAE Group CEO Karsten Sachsenröder.