Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank Sells Minority Stake in Bulgartabac


Corporate Commercial Bank, a Bulgarian bank, has vended its 8% stake in Bulgartabac Holding, a largest cigarette producer in Bulgaria.

Corporate Commercial Bank has vended a whole of 605 177 Bulgartabac shares, or 8.21% of the holding’s capital, thereby technically exiting the tobacco company.


Bulgartabak Holding logo

The bank said that the bargain was resolved with two transactions recorded by Bulgaria’s Central Depository on May 23 and May 28.

In one of the disputable Bulgarian privatization bargains, in September 2011 the Bulgarian government vended Bulgartabac Holding to an affiliate of the Russian bank VTB for EUR 100.1 M. A margin of profit of the company at the end of 2011 was BGN 31.3 M.

Not only Corporate Commercial Banks, but also 14 bidders demonstrated interest in the buying of the Bulgaria-owned share of 80% of Bulgartabac almost a year ago.

In he course of a Parliament hearing in September, the Bulgarian Privatization Agency head Emil Karanikolov contradicted few media versions and affirmations made by politicians that the purchaser did not related to Bulgaria’s Corporate Commercial Bank, considered to fund the media group of mogul Irena Krasteva, and/or alcohol manufacturer Vinprom Peshtera, which in return are considered to be connected to DPS, the ethnic Turkish party (Movement for Rights and Freedoms).

BT Invest, which is a property of Russia’s second-largest bank VTB, won at the close of August a bid to purchase a 79.8% stake in Bulgartabac for EUR 100.1 M.

The contract prohibits the resale of the holding in the following 10 years, a condition which can be skipped through a change in the BT Invest ownership. The Bulgarian Privatization Agency allowed this probability.

Austria-registered BT Invest was the only bidder for the Bulgartabac Holding since British American Tobacco Company and Austria-based CB Family Office Service refused the deal.

Two of the less lucrative factories of Bulgartabac holding located in Plovdiv and Stara Zagora were vended in 2009 through the Sofia Stock Exchange for BGN 31 M and BGN 18 M correspondingly.

At present Bulgartabac is the owner of two larger and more firmly established factories in Sofia and Blagoevgrad, a processing plant in Yasen near Pleven, and also few commercial brands.

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