Банкеръ Weekly

Briefs

VINIMPEX WITH A NEW OWNER

The consortium between the Cypriot company Westphail Consulting Limited, Vini AD of Sliven, and Old Winery 1924 of Sofia, is the new owner of the Sofia-based Vinimpex EAD. The consortium was nominated to buy the company after it offered a price of BGN4MN. However, the sale contract between the chosen purchaser and the Privatisation Agency (PA) has not been closed yet and it can be signed only if the consortium presents to the PA a declaration about the origin of the money for effecting the payment.The presence of Old Winery 1924 and Vini in the Cypriot-Bulgarian consortium wakes up old memories. The main actors in these memories are the incumbent Executive Director of the winery Orlin Avramov, the same company's lawyer - the deceased Nadezhda Georgieva, and the two prosecutors Nikolai Kolev (who is no more either) and Rusko Karagogov. The lawyer Georgieva was killed on February 28, 2000 in Sofia, and Nikolai Kolev who was killed recently in the capital's centre was allegedly an accomplice to that crime. This story was proceeded by a scandal, provoked by the wish of Orlin Avramov and his partner in Old Winery Nedyalko Hristov to buy the Sliven basedc winery Vini. And the prosecutor Rusko Karagogov was accused of corruption by Edvin Sugarev in connection with that deal. Finally, the enterprise was sold to the MEBO VSB Vini Sliven Bulgaria and was later on included in the list of privatisation deals where irregularities were found. As of January 10, 2003 Orlin Avramov is Executive Director of Vini. He is also Executive Director of Old Winery 1924, half of which capital he holds. The financial reprots of Vinimpex show that in the first nine months of 2002 the company posted a loss of BGN65,000. In fact, the foreign trade company is attractive mostly for the 40 trade marks under which Bulgarian wines are sold abroad. Preparations for its privatisation started in June 2001, but the tender for the sale of 24,548 shares, representing 100% of Vinimpex's capital, was announced in November 2002. Purchase offers, besides that of the tender winner, were also filed by Belvedere-Bulgaria (representing in this country the famous French company Belvedere) and Inter Tab of Plovdiv, which was among the bidders for Energoremont AD and failed to win the tender for the Chinar hotel in Sunny Beach.

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