INTERMEDIARY FEARS NO BREAK-UP OF THE POOL
The BANKER weekly revealed that none of the three winners in the competition for consultant and investment intermediary in the sale of the minority stakes of the so-called dream pool doubts the operation's successful end.There are five members of the group of companies to be sold on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE) against compensation notes. Only two of them are public companies. Back in 1996, 7% of Bulgartabac Holding were sold during mass privatisation and at end-September the Pleven-based firm Oil and Gas Prospecting and Extraction written in the register of the public companies. The problem emerged from the only one privatised company - DZI. After 80% of its capital were acquired by Contract Sofia Ltd, dominated by Emil Kyulev, last week the insuramce company's general assembly voted its shares not to be traded on BSE. This in fact eliminates the State Insurance Institute (DZI) from real participation in the pool, though such information has still not been officially revealed. So the candidates for intermediary and consultant on SE privatisation were forced to offer their services for the sale of the remaining 20% of DZI, despite being fully aware that these shares are no more part of the stake.The offers for consultant and investment intermediary were opened in the late afernoon of October 14. The winner - with 85.91 out of 100 possible points, was the consortium between UBB, Bulbrokers AD and National Bank of Greece. At second place with 84.87 points were ranked First Financial Brokerage House and Rotshield Conseil International. They were followed by the consortium between Credit Suisse First Boston Ltd, Bulgarian Consultant Company and Elana AD which collected 78.5 points. Creditanstalt Investment Bank and HVB Bank Bulgaria were outclassed with 50 points - their offers failed to cover the lowest possible evaluation of 60 points.The winner offered to collect the lowest success fee of EUR1.2MN while the outclassed candidate wanted EUR3MN as a success fee, but was evaluated higher on technical parametres. Yet the problems around the pool remain. They are connected not only with the events at DZI, but also with the statute of those companies still under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. It is still unclear when BTC and Navigation Maritime Bulgare will be restructured and transferred into public companies as the Ministry of Trasport has not yet deposited their documents at the State Securities and Exchange Commission. Most obstacles are known to be of legal character.It is also unknown whether the future owner of BTC will be obliged by the privatisation agreement to enter BTC for sale on stock exchange. If no such requirements are foreseen, the pool might break up sooner than expected. This was predicted by the BANKER weekly still at end-September.Radoslav Rachev, broker of the ranked first consortium Bulbrokers AD, announced to the BANKER weekly that he was worried by Kyulev's decision not to restructure DZI into public company. Yet he is convinced that the state will carry out its intention to revive our capital market by the sale of these stakes.