SALE OF ALEN MAK WILL AGAIN CAUSE PROBLEMS
The unexpectedly high number of companies - 21 - which bought information memorada for the purchase of a 57% stake in the Plovdiv-based cosmetics manufacturer Alen Mak AD has certainly made glad the Privatisation Agency (PA) officials. They have recently been troubled by the failed deals on hotels at the Sunny Beach seaside resort. In fact, 12 firms bought memoranda in the last few weeks, and the rest of them purchased the documents back in June, when the PA postponed the divestment procedure by several months.The PA, however, would be hardly in high spirits on December 3 - the deadline for filing offers for Alen Mak. A lot of the candidate buyers gave up the bidding, startled by the minimum initial price of USD3.95MN, set by the PA. On November 26 Kenth Lefkovits, CEO of the Austrian investment company EPIK (which owns 22.36% of Alen Mak's capital), announced he would not take part in the bidding because the required price was not in accordance with the enterprise's real worth. Krassen Kyukchiev, the owner of the Shoumen-based Ficosota Holding, has also withdrawn from the bidding. However, he said his company could participate in an eventual new privatisation procedure.It is curious that information memoranda have been purchased by at least three foreign investors. The level will be certainly raised if the world-famous US company Colgate International (manufacturing the tooth-paste bearing the same trade mark) takes part in the bidding. However, this is not very likely to happen. Experts assess the chances of Italy's Sintofarri as considerable. The company participated in the bidding for the purchase of the Peshtera-based pharmaceuticals producer Biovet, but lost from Napredak Holding's Bulgarian Pharmaceutical Company. Pundits claim that the asked price of USD3.95MN is not low, but it won't stop the Italians from placing an offer. No more than two or three companies are expected to stay in the contest after December 3. The presence among them of the Plovdiv-based Magnoliya 99 EOOD (owned by the businessman Viktor Drehemov) would hardly be a surprise. Until recently he was one of Alen Mak's main partners and he can file an offer jointly with a Russian company. For the time being it is not clear who is behind the Swiss company Effecten und Finantz (which will also take part in the bidding), but it is allegedly an offshore firm, owned by a Bulgarian.Strange as it might seem, a memorandum has been purchased as well by the nearly failed Kazanluk-based enterprise Bulgarian Rose - Sevtopolis AD. Its net worth of assets is negative, with a deficit of BGL6,385,000. Moreover, its initial buyer - the Irish Earlton Fund - is wanted by the PA for illegal transferrence of shares and non-fulfillment of the investment programme. The PA seeks forfeit exceeding USD23MN. Meanwhile, Bulgarian Rose - Sevtopolis was acquired by three Bulgarian companies - May Pharma AD, Industrial Consult AD, and Libero AD.