Банкеръ Weekly



The information memorandum on the State Insurance Institute (DZI) does not specify a deadline for the completion of the procedure for its sale, experts from the Privatisation Agency (PA) claim. Nevertheless, the candidate-buyers to be admitted to the second round of the two-stage tender for DZI's divestment will be most probably picked out before the Easter holidays. The aim of the Government is to finalize the sale procedure by the beginning of the summer, pundits say. The sacral date, haunting PA's corridors now, is June 30. PA's experts are presently holding negotiations with all candidates that have filed offers for DZI's purchase. Afterwards, the approved investors will be presented a new information memorandum, which (as the BANKER weekly already wrote in its issue No 16) will contain data about the state insurer's financial state for 2001. Potential purchasers will have a week prior the second round of the bidding to conduct their own due diligence of DZI's financial state. Candidate-buyers may not unite in consortia during the bidding, PA sources claim.The term for sumbitting offers for the first round of the tender expired on April 15. The present, second procedure for DZI's privatisation, when 80% of its capital was offered for sale, was opened on March 11, 2002.It is known for certain that purchase offers have been filed by one of the biggest insurance companies in the Czech Republic - Czech Poishtyovna, and by ROSEXIMBANK, which according to financiers is in fact a mediator of the Varna-based strong-arm group TIM. They see in that a more remote link with Mark Rich. As the BANKER weekly wrote six months ago, the US businessman works in close cooperation with TIM and shows interest towards DZI and NEFTINVESTBANK. The plans are said to set up a DZI bank on that basis. BNB's official report for 2001 says that DZI holds 10.41% of NEFTINVESTBANK'S capital. According to unconfirmed information, a buying offer has been filed by an Italian company as well. The question is if this is Crastolla Partners or Bonaldi. Both of them purchased information memoranda back in March. Crastolla Partners is a consulting company, specialized in the financial sector. But the possibility that Crastolla may be acting on behalf of a client should not be ruled out according to pundits.The other candidate, which according to rumours has submitted an offer, is the US Lukeida National Corp., based in New York. It is engaged in insurance, bank services, and mining. Its annual revenues amount to USD656MN and its net profit for 2001 is USD70.9MN. The PA has not yet provided official information about the number of submitted purchase offers. Two weeks ago, however, PA's Deputy Director Iliya Vassilev announced to the media there was a considerable interest towards the company and offers had been filed by US, Italian and Bulgarian investors.

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