Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

TENDER FOR A CONSULTANT IN THE DIVESTMENT OF BALKAN AIR TOUR INVITED

On February 24 (Monday) the Privatisation Agency (PA) invited a tender for picking up a consultant in the divestment of Balkan Air Tour EAD. The candidates are required to be experienced in privatisation and in projects, connected with civil aviation. Good knowledge of private and public law is a must. The candidate consultants should also have a team of experts at their disposal. The deposit for participation is EUR5,000 and the applications for participation in the tender should be submitted within 29 days after the publication of the announcement in the Official Gazette.The Government's strategy for the future of Balkan Air Tour, which was set up on December 4, 2002, did not project its remaining state-owned for a long time. Interest towards the company's privatisation may be shown by private air companies and tour operators, banks and investment funds, the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunications explained. The Transport Minister Plamen Petrov has set June 23, 2003 as a deadline for selling 49% of the air company's assets.As of February 21 Balkan Air Tour has a new Executive Director - the financier from the Transport Ministry Philip Alexiev. Until his appointment at the air company he headed the Economic Policy department at the ministry. The air carrier's former executive director Lyubka Manova was discharged because she did not have a higher education, the Transport Ministry explained. According to informed sources, however, the real reasons for her dismissal are connected with the bad financial performance of Balkan Air Tour. The operating expenses for the aircraft have totalled BGN3.5MN so far, and BGN1.5MN has been spent on guarantees and deposits. But there are no invoices and documents whatsoever to verify the expenses. No Financial Director has been appointed to Balkan Air Tour yet. The Government has released BGN30MN from the fiscal reserve for the company's establishment.While she was executive director Ms. Manova hired the company Consult and paid it a fee to conduct tests for appointing pilots and air hostesses in the end of 2002. It was her idea as well to invite a tender for nominating a company to design the summer uniforms of the national air carrier's employees. Although the winner had to become known in the beginning of March, pundits say that the winner is Hrisoma OOD. The firm that tailors fashion clothes is owned by Maya Kircheva, a member of the management Board of the Future for Bulgaria foundation.

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