Банкеръ Weekly



Sopharma's profit for 1999 shall not be distributed in dividends, the company's shareholders decided at their general meeting, held this week's Tuesday. The consecutive delay of the decision reagrding dividends was demanded by the State's representative on the enterprise's Board of Directors (BoD) Mihail Tenev from the Minsitry fo Economy. Mr. Tenev argued that his superiors have not yet got acquainted with the case in detail. Back in June 2000 when the results from Sopharma's operation were reported at the regular general meeting of the company, it was voted that the shareholders should get BGL3.28 per share. The money would go mainly to the State, which held 90% of Sopharma's capital at that time. However, that general meeting of the pharmaceutical company was litigated in court by discontended shareholders.
It's a fact that due to procedure irregularities the State has already lost BGL2.5MN of the profit, because whatever decision concerning the 1999 dividend is taken at Sopharma's next general meeting, the company's future shareholders will be also entitled to it. Elpharma is presently the biggest shareholder with an 86.67% stake, and the Ministry of Economy owns just 2.88 per cent. Among the smaller shareholders UBS Warburg, holding 1.92% of Sopharma's assets, draws the attention. It is a bank within the structure of Warburg Dillon Reed, that is Deouty Premier and Minsiter of Economy Nikolai Vassilev's former employer. There are two more well-known foreign investors in shareholder structure: the Swiss fund Pro Value and Beta Global Emerging Market Investment Trust.
Currently, the State's consecutive attempt to sell its share in Sopharma is in progerss. Since June the investment mediator Bulbrokers has been offering on the Sofia Stock Exchange more than 153,000 shares at BGL2 apiece but no buyers have appeared so far. The only significant change after the recint general meeting is that BULBANK's representative Kiril KAmenov left the company's BoD on his own will. His place remains vacant. The Management Board will have six members and will be headed by the CEO of Elextroimpex Borislav Dionisiev. The other shaerholder in Elpharma - Unipharm - participaed in the Management Board as a juristic person and Ognyan Donev is the enterprise's Executive Director.

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