Bulgaria Seals Sale of Bulgartabac to Russian Bank VTB

Bulgaria Seals Sale of Bulgartabac to Russian Bank VTB

The Supervisory Council of Bulgaria's Privatization Agency has given the final go-ahead for the sale of state cigarette-maker Bulgartabac to BT Invest, a firm wholly owned by Russia's government bank VTB.

After five-hour debates on Friday, the Supervisory Council of the Privatization and Post-privatization Control Agency approved the sale of Bulgartabac to VTB for EUR 100.1 M with 6 votes in favor and one vote against.

The news was broken Friday night by the Council chair Yuliya Nenkova. The only vote against the sale came from the representative of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Rusi Statkov.

Nenkov told reporters she was confident the deal was beneficial for Bulgaria. The Privatization Agency had a 15-day deadline to decide on the bid.

On Tuesday, after one day of examining documentation, the Bulgarian Privatization Agency approved the sale of the State-owned tobacco monopoly Bulgartabac Holding to BT Invest, a firm registered in Austria by VTB bank, property of the Russian government.

The price offered by BT Invest, the sole bidder standing, after several major players withdrew, is EUR 100.1 M with investments of BGN 7 M in the next two years and the commitment to purchase 5 000 metric tons of Bulgarian tobacco a year (about 14% of the crop). The draft contract also includes a clause banning a resell in the next 5 years. (Source: Sofia News Agency)

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