Poland-based PKP Cargo has entered an agreement to acquire 80% interest in Advanced World Transport (AWT) for approximately €103.2m.

The acquisition is said to be finalised, following the receipt of authorisations from Polish, Czech, German and Slovak antitrust authorities.

PKP acquired the stake from Zdenek Bakala and his The Bakala Trust, while Czech company Minezit SE will hold the remaining 20% interest.

PKP Cargo management board president Adam Purwin said: "The acquisition of AWT will cause our share in the Czech market to grow by leaps and bounds and will significantly strengthen the strategic position of PKP Cargo in Central Europe.

"The acquisition of AWT will cause our share in the Czech market to grow by leaps and bounds."

"The Czech Republic is also the gate to Southern Europe, towards the Adriatic Sea. Our presence in this country is a perfect opportunity to extend our train routes."

AWT is claimed to be the second largest rail freight operator in the Czech Republic, and is active in Central and Southern Europe.

The deal will expand PKP’s position in Central and Southern Europe, while it will specifically increase capacity to serve the north-south transportation corridor.

AWT currently has around 160 locomotives, including ten multi-system engines and five thousand freight wagons. It leases a third of the wagons it uses.

AWT offers services in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Croatia, and is specialised in the transportation of heavy and bulk goods, including coal, steel and auto parts.

In addition, it operates 60 railway sidings in the Czech Republic and provides rolling stock services, which include maintenance and lease of wagons.

Image: PKP Cargo has purchased majority stake in rail freight operator AWT. Photo: courtesy of PKP Cargo Logistics.