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Privatisation of Bulgartabac to start Jun-04

Procedures for the privatisation and restructuring of Bulgartabac factories will start in about three months after Bulgaria's tobacco giant signed a contract with Morgan Stanley on March 11.

Bulgartabac includes twelve processing factories and nine cigarette factories. It also runs five cigarette factories in Russia and one each in Ukraine, Romania and former Yugoslavia.

Morgan Stanley is to prepare the financial, legal and market analyses of Bulgartabac subsidiaries, as well as an analysis of the tobacco sector. The consultant will come up with options for the privatisation of the separate factories.

The new strategy for Bulgartabac's privatisation, which the government agreed at the beginning of October, envisages the piecemeal sale of the cigarette production companies and tobacco processing subsidiaries.

UK tobacco giant Imperial Tobacco Group, British-American Tobacco, together with Phillip Morris and Gallagher, have already declared interest in the privatisation of Bulgartabac.

(NewsBase 15.iii.04)

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