Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

TIM SURVEYS ARMEETS INSURANCE COMPANY

The Varna-based strong-arm group TIM is conducting its own survey on the financial results and the state of Armeets, which is a part of the State Insurance Institute (DZI), Privatisation Agency (PA) sources announced.TIM has long since had interests in the financial sector. After acquiring through its companies a majority package in Central Cooperative Bank, an eventual purchase of Armeets will enable the Varna-based group to expand its operations on this segment, experts from the insurance branch comment. The consulting company Deloitte Touche (which has audited the DZI) is also preparing the official evaluation of Armeets. According to PA sources, the insurance company has been evaluated at between BGN6-7MN. But the minimum price to be asked for Armeets is BGN3.5MN only, some experts say.Meanwhile, the PA has officially announced that 91.9% of the company's capital would be put up for sale. Like DZI, it will be privatized through a two-stage tender. The tender dosiers, worth BGN2,500 can be purchased at the PA by April 5, 2002.The future owner of Armeets will have to maintain its subject of activity, keep a certain number of employees on payroll in accordnace with the business plan, and optimize the company's structure.The Italian companies Crastolla Partners and Bonaldi, which had allegedly showed interest towards Armeets, will not file offers most probably. The reason is that due to the small amount of its assets, Armeets is not within the company policies of the two Italian insurers. Armeets was of interest to foreign investors as long as it was offered for sale in a package with DZI. But after it was decided that Armeets would be sold separately, big players would hardly sumbit offers, PA experts comment. The Austrian Winerstetische is the only foreign company which has so far maintained its interest in Armeets, but it's still early to say if it will submit an offer.The market share of Armeets is about 2 per cent. According to inofficial information, the final data for 2001 are still to be estimated.

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