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Dec 18, 2009 11:14 EEST
December 18 (SeeNews) - The Bulgarian Privatisation Agency said on Friday it has called an open tender to pick a consultant for the privatisation of majority state-owned tobacco group Bulgartabac.
The advisor will consult the sell-off agency in preparing and implementing the privatisation deal, the agency said in a statement.
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Bidders can be international investment banks which ranked among the top 20 in the M&A League Tables of Financial Advisers, published by Mergermarket, in at least one of the three rankings - global, European, Central and Eastern European (CEE) - between 2007 and 2009.
The consultant should prove it has a successful track record in advising privatisations or mergers and acquisitions (M&A), or that it has advised at least one successful privatisation in the tobacco industry in the past three years.
Bidders are invited to place their offers by 1530 GMT on the 40th day from the date the agency's decision is published in a local daily.
The economy ministry hopes to sell all the state-owned assets of the holding group, including the cigarette factories in Sofia and Blagoevgrad together with their cigarette brands, in a package through a sealed-bid auction, Deputy Economy Minister Evgeny Angelov told the Sega daily in an interview on Thursday.
Bulgartabac, which is 80% state-owned, comprises more than 10 subsidiaries in Bulgaria and several idled units abroad. Its privatisation has been delayed for years by political wrangling. The holding group has been faced with tough competition from international majors like British American Tobacco, Philip Morris, Karelia Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International, Imperial Tobacco since Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007.
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