TOBLERONES AND CHANNEL N5 AT THE FIRST TENDER FOR BALKAN AIRLINES' PROPERTY
The first three public tenders for the sale of part of the property of the bankrupt Balkan Airlines will be probably held in end-February, the BANKER weekly learnt. The total number of tenders for selling out the former air-carrier's property is expected to reach 130, and at least 90 of them will be invited by the end of 2003. A large part of the assets (including the buildings, the aircraft fleet, and the cars) will be sold by public executors in compliance with the Tax Procedures Code.The plan for cashing Balkan's property was filed to the Sofia City Court in the beginning of January 2003. In end-2001 it was estimated at BGN99,923,000, but this evaluation will be probably updated. The optimistic version is to finalize the sale of the bankrupt air company's assets within three years. Balkan's receivables, which according to pundits are presently being estimated, will be also offered at a tender. The first three tenders are aimed to vacate Balkan's grounds and premises that could be quickly let out. In the beginning of March the uppermost five floors of the former air-carrier's administrative building (located near the Sofia Airport), will be let out as well. At one of the fist tender duty-free goods (chocolates, brand spirits and perfumery, offered to the passengers in airplanes) worth a total of BGN200,000 will be put up for sale. The three aviation bases - in Sofia, Bourgas and Varna - will be traded in March. Considerable interest has been shown towards leasing the repair shops, experts say. The new lessee of the two hotels - Pliska in Sofia and Cosmos in Bourgas - will be chosen by tender. But the two hotels were sold by Gad Zeevi and lawsuits for declaring the deal null and void are still going on. Balkan's aircraft fleet will be sold out later on. The best option is for all planes (four AN-12s, two AN-24s, three Iak-18Ts, one El-410 and one Tupololev 134) to be purchased by one company, as a considable amount of money is necessary for their maintenance.The air companies Bulgaria and Hemus Air are presently candidate buyers of Balkan's assets. Balkan Air Tour, which has rented one of the Sofia Airport's airsheds, shall not enjoy preferential treatment in future public tenders. The company will bid at an equal footing with the other candidates and the possibility for not winning should not be excluded. With the BGN10MN it received from the budget it would hardly take a risk if the markey price of the assets goes up steeply.The general meeting of Balkan Airline's creditors, held on October 29, 2002, did not accept the rehabilitation plan for the company, proposed by its former trustees in bankruptcy Olga Milenkova and Hristo Mollov. The liabilities of the bankrupt airlines total BGN220.5MN. Its biggest creditors are the State Receivables Agency (BGN73.77MN), Bulstrad (BGN24.8MN), Sofia Airport (BGN1,7MN), and Air Traffic Control (13.4MN). The recievables of Balkan's former employees are less than BGN3MN.