Kazakhstan-based ATASU Group and Estonia’s Skinest Rail have acquired the next batch of 807 rental wagons from Operail Leasing for €22.1m in an auction.

The contract with two subsidiaries of ATASU was completed in late December, involving the acquisition of 410 wagons from Operail Leasing.

Last week, wagon rental company Skinest Rail sealed the contract for the acquisition of 397 wagons.

Over 40 firms were introduced to the chance to participate in the auction conducted by Operail Leasing, a unit of Operail.

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By GlobalData

During the various stages of the process, 20 interested parties submitted their tenders for the wagons.

Upon evaluation of the tenders, the firm conceded that selling the wagons in phases would be most profitable.

The wagons are mainly used in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and the Baltic states.

For divesting the remaining rental wagons, Operail Leasing is in discussions with the parties that placed the best tenders.

Operail chairman Raul Toomsalu said: “The business was expanded because Russian transit via Estonia shrunk significantly after the events of the Bronze Night and freight transport as an independent business line was no longer feasible.

“As freight transport is strategically important for the state, we had to find ways to survive from the economic perspective.”

Ukrainian company Fortior Capital and Estonian firm Teslar Trans purchased 522 wagons, located in Ukraine, during the first stage, for €6.51m.

In another recent development, Operail reached a deal to sell its Finnish rail freight business to Nurminen Logistics.