Bulgaria offers up to 75 % of Neftochim refinery

Apr 14, 1997 02:00 AM

Bulgaria will offer up to 75 % of the Neftochim refinery for sale to private investors, a government spokesman said recently."At a later stage, the cabinet will decide the concrete scheme for the sale of the package of shares, after the Privatisation Agency prepares the legal analysis," the spokesman said. He said several firms had already shown interest in the sale of Bulgaria's biggest refinery.
Russian state oil holding company Rosneft said last month it was interested in taking a majority stake in Neftochim. Rosneft has a joint venture with Neftochim called Rosbulneft which supplies the refinery with oil. In February, Rosneft said Neftochim owed it $ 100 mm. One option could be a debt-for-equity swap.
The Privatisation Agency is advertising for financial advisers for the sale of stakes in Neftochim and 21 other state firms. Bulgaria has pledged to speed up privatisation under a standby accord approved by the IMF board.
Energy officials say large investments are needed to moderniseNeftochim. Bulgaria suffered a severe petrol shortage in February and March as the refinery lacked cash to buy crude.
The government spokesman said that in 1995 the plant exported 30.5 % of its production and the remaining 69.5 % were for the domestic market. Plant assets were 14.7 bn levs at the end of 1995.

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