Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

SOPHARMA BUYS ITS KAZANLUK-BASED RIVAL

The pharmaceutical company Sopharma will acquire a majority package (up to 95%) of shares in the Kazanluk-based Bulgarian Rose - Sevtopolis immediately after rge Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) allows the deal. This will practically put an end to their 10-year-long dispute about the rights on the trade marks Tempalgin, Broncholitin and Krasil.
In end-November 93% of the capital of the Kazanluk-based enterprise were traded on the stock exchange at BGN0.01 per share. It is absurd to pay a higher price, having in mind the company's balance sheet and financial report, commented the Chairman of Corporative Bank's Supervisory Board Nikolay Velkov, who is one of the buyers. Prior the sale on the stock exchange the main shareholders in Bulgarian Rose were three offshore firms: Rosepath Enterprises (with a 32.50% stake), Baygrove Ltd. (holding 25%), and Timor Overseas (20.50%), as well as the Pazardjik-based company Pharmexpress (17.50 per cent). A curious fact is that as of the beginning of 2003 Sopharma itself has been holding 1% of its rival's capital, after Kaliman (Romi Trading) EOOD sold its its shares. Through the above-mentioned deal the largest share in Bulgarian Rose - 49.5% - was acquired by Telecomplect AD. This enterprise was sold by the Privatisation Agency (PA) in 2001 to the eponymous MEBO company. According to the last court registration, the Executive Director of Sopharma Ognyan Donev was Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Telecomplect AD. The pharmaceutical company's lawyer Ventsislav Stoev was also on the Supervisory Board of the joint-stock company. Nikolay Velkov purchased a package of shares, representing 22.5% of the capital of Bulgarian Rose - Sevtopolis. Meanwhile, he participated in the enterprise through his 25% stake in Pharmexperss AD. As of the date when the deal was effecetd, the Pazardik-based company held 2.5% in Sevtopolis, to be bought out by Mr. Velkov. The remaining 21% of the shares, sold on the stock exchange, were acquired by Nikola Rachev. The deal is aimed to stabilize financially the Kazanluk-based company so that it could cope with its huge liabilities, Mr, Velkov told the BANKER weekly. The financial burden of Bulgarian Rose is a debt, whose principal is USD2.7MN. IOt is part of a DEM6.5MN loam, released in 1989 by the then MINIRALBANK. In 1994 the debt was transformed under the Act on the Settlement of Non-Performing Credits, Contracted Prior to December 31, 1990 (better known by its Bulgarian acronym ZUNK), with redemption until 1998. Mr. Velkov assumes that an agreement would be reached with the State Receivables Agency for rescheduling the repayment of the principal by nine years. Concerning Sopharma, under article 149 of the Public Offering of Securities Act, after acquiring the controlling package of shares (over 50%), the company is obliged to make within 14 days a tender proposal for the purchase of the stakes of the other shareholders in Bulgarian Rose - Sevtopolis.

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