SEVEN FIRMS APPLY FOR EVALUATION CONSULTANTS OF BULGARIA'S MERCHANT FLEET
The great number of candidates to consult the State on the privatisation of Navigation Maritime Bulgare (Navibulgar) and the Bulgarian River Shipping (BRS) will make it difficult for the Privatisation Agency (PA) to select the best offers. Among the seven applicants willing to take up the privatisation of the shipping sector are leading auditing and consulting companies, as well as specialized financial and legal institutions in this branch. For the present, the favourites are the consortiums, headed by the Austrian Raiffeisen Investment company (a division of Raiffeisen Zentral Bank) and the German DVB Bank.In April, the Austrian company launched a BGN23MN credit to Navibulgar aiming to support the purchase of the Varna Shipyard's assets. Several popular Bulgarian and foreign companies are their partners in the consultations on Navibulgar and BRS. One of them is the Balkan Consulting Company, owned by Vladimir Karolev and Alex Bebov.The partnership also includes Subev Partners legal office whose manager, Georgi Subev, is taking an active part in the privatisation of Bulgartabac Holding and supports the favourite - Tobacco Capital Partners. The consortium, dominated by Raiffeisen Investment, includes also the British consultants Richards Butler International Law Firm and Fairwind Shipping. There are impressive names in the other group too. DVB Bank is a financial institution specialized in serving the transport branch. Its partner in the consultations is the Austrian EPIC company, known in Bulgaria as a shareholder in First Investment Bank (FIB) (holding 39% of the capital) - former partner in the Plovdiv-based cosmetics manufacturer Alen Mak (22.36%) and founder of the Nadezhda privatisation fund. The consortium also includes First Financial Brokerage House which controls 13.89% of FIB's capital. The other partner of DVB Bank are the British legal office Stevenson Harwood, the auditor Moore Stephens, and the lawyers from Totev Ivanov. Lega Inter Consult and Lloyds Shipping Register form the consortium established by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Offers to consult the privatisation of Navibulgar and BRS were also submitted by partnerships, presided by other leading international auditing companies - KPMG and Deloitte Touche. The London-based Williams de Brow investment bank is the sixth candidate in the competition. It used to consult the privatisation of the merchant fleets of Lithuania and Estonia. The logistics company Albreht Logistics is participating in the competition too.The PA has divided its criteria for evaluating the offers in two groups - technical and financial. The first group includes the qualification of the applicants' personnel, the approach and the experience of the consulting team. The consultation fee will determine 20% of the ranking and the technical characteristics - 80 per cent.