Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

UNION MINIERE PIRDOP MED WILL REMAIN A PUBLIC COMPANY

The Belgian Union Miniere already owns 99.96% of the Pirdop based copper plant capital. That became clear after finalizing the procedure for the sale of the newly issued 10,617,999 shares of Union Miniere Pirdop Med for BGL16 apiece. Only 8,000,923 papers were booked, which means that even the major shareholder did not fully avail himself of his rights. The Belgian owner could have bought approximately 10.2mn shares of the capital increase, as they owned 96% of the shares before that. Obviously, the Belgian managers did not wish to invest that big amount in bulk. That is why they decided to spend only BGL128MN for the capital increase, which brought them 8 mn new shares in Union Miniere Pirdop Med. Small shareholders paid for the remaining 923 papers the amount of BGL14,768. Their shares are almost symbolic now.
The acquisition of almost all shares of the Pirdop based plant fully entitles Union Miniere to make a tender offer to small shareholders for buying out their shares, and to write off the company from the public register. The Belgian owners have mentioned several times that the shares of their company are traded at the Brussels Stock Exchange and they are not interested in their daughter companies shares being traded at other stock exchanges, including the Bulgarian one. The financial director of the company, however, said that the major shareholder does not plan writing off the company from the public register, which means that the Union Miniere Pirdop Med shares will be traded at the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.
According to the Board of Directors plans, the money which will come to the company will be invested in the repairs and enlargement of the copper smelting furnace. Besides that part of the amount will be invested in the modernization of the anode and cathode copper production refinery, in accordance with the environmental protection requirements.
Union Miniere Pirdop Med management expects to finish the financial 2000 with a loss of BGL23.9MN. The reason, according to them, is in the growing depreciations. Yet last year seems to be the best for the plant after its privatization. Its income from sales for the first two quarters exceeded BGL239MN, which is two times higher result compared to the same period of 1999.

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