PRIVATISATION OF PORT FLEET HAS CAUSED DISCONTENT
The tender for the privatisation of Port Fleet of Bourgas was contested by one of the bidders - Sole Trader Vale-Valentin Mladenov Deyanov. On September 4, 2002 Valentin Deyanov filed an appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC), demanding suspension of the second procedure for the divestment of the Bourgas-based company. However, SAC has rejected the appeal as inadmissible.The Privatisation Agency (PA) had invited a tender for the purchase of 100% of Port Fleet's capital. Nine firms showed interest but only two of them were admitted to the final stage - Litshipping (already known from the first attempt to privatize Port Fleet) and ARZ Holding. The latter won the bidding, paying a sum close to the initially asked selling price of BGN9MN. According to Valentin Deyanov, who is contesing the deal, the divestment procedure has been directed by the PA in favour of a definite candidate buyer. He argues that the term for depositing the required advance payment was too short, and its amount - too high, having in mind PA's previous practice. In that case the PA demanded a depoit of BGN2.5MN, or 27.8% of Port Fleet's entire price. The candidate buyers were notified about that on August 29, 2002 and had to deposit the money by September 4, 2002 in order to take part in teh tender. Mr. Deyanov had officially asked the PA to extend the term. The PA explained that both the size of the deposit and the term for paying it are fixed according to PA's internal rules and there were no legal violations.The sole trader Deyanov applied for assistance to the Sofia Prosecutors' Office. In his appeal to it he accuses also the incumbent managerial team of Port Fleet. According to Mr. Deyanov, there is a considerable difference in the prices of four completely identical tug-boats. Two of them were bought at a price which is 82 times higher than that of the other two. Moreover, the provisions of the Public Procurement Act have been violated during the purchase.The present owenrs of Port Fleet - ARZ Holding were not found to comment the case. The PA pointed out that the entire price of the deal had been paid by the company owned by Nikifor Vangelov, and they did not see whatsoever irregularities.