FRENCH COMPANY TO ACQUIRE VINIMPEX
The Privatisation Agency (PA) offered a 100% stake of the capital of Vinimpex to the Stara Zagora-based Belvedere Bulgaria company. On June 20, 2003, the PA Supervisory Board refused to approve an agreement with the consortium formed by the Cyprus-based Westfall Consulting Limited, the Sliven-based Vini AD, and the Sofia-based Stara Izba 1924. The consortium offered to pay BGN4MN for the company occupied with import and export of wines and alcohol drinks. The offer of Belvedere ranked second. The company now has 60 days to finish the deal. By August 5, Belvedere has to declare the origin of its financial resources, as well as to renew the BGN500,000 deposit for participation in the competition.Belvedere Bulgaria is entirely owned by the famous French Belvedere company (as well as by the recently registered Sofia-based Belvedere Distribution). The company has been operating on the Bulgarian market and has been growing its own wine brands for seven years. At the end of last week, Belvedere Bulgaria headquarters moved to Stara Zagora and thus reminded the company plans to acquire Menada Syarovi Brothers - Stara Zagora. The wine-cellar was long controlled by structures of Multigroup (through the offshore company PFHC Establishment), but last year rumours spreaded that the majority stake was acquired by Belvedere. This information has not yet been confirmed in the commercial registers, but it is a fact that the office of Nikolay Dalakov, Belvedere manager, is situated on the ground of the Stara Zagora wine plant. Iliya Pavlov transferred Menada's official registration to Veliko Turnovo last October and the company changes its name into Bulgaria Wine-Cellar AD. By unofficial information, it was the same time that the Belvedere deal was closed. The French company acquired the assets of the wine plant and not a stake of its capital.Vinimpex privatisation started in June 2001, but the competition for the sale of 24,548 shares (100% of Vinimpex's capital) was declared in November 2002.On January 22, 2003, offers to acquire Vinimpex were submitted by the winning company, by Belvedere-Bulgaria and by the Plovdiv-based Inter Tab, which was among the applicants for Energoremont AD and the Tchinar hotel in Sunny Beach.