BT Invest, an Austrian registered investment firm owned by Russian bank VTB, offered EUR 100.1 million for Bulgartabac. Bulgartabac is currently a state-owned entity. The transaction amount would account for 5,881,380 shares of the company, or nearly 80% of its capital. The bid is EUR 100,000 higher than the starting price set by the Bulgarian government.
As part of the sales agreement, BT Invest has agreed to purchase 5000 metric tons of Bulgarian tobacco to be used in the plants. They have also agreed to invest BGN 2 million in the company in the first year followed by an additional BGN 5 million in the second.
The sale has been approved by the Privatization Agency and Citibank, which is acting as the deal consultant.
Reaching 85% of the domestic market, Bulgartabac is the leading cigarette manufacturer in the country. The company currently manufacturers 8 brands of cigarettes. The company has recently undergone internal changes regarding fiscal policy, enabling it to show a profit of BGN 1.319 million in the first quarter of 2011.
VTB Group (www.vtb.com)
VTB Group is a Russia based financial group. By offering financial services through its subsidiaries in over 20 countries in Russia, the CIS, West Europe, Asia and Africa the company became the second largest financial group in Russia regarding its assets and customer accounts.
VTB Bank (former Vneshtorgbank), the very heart of the VTB Group, has been established in Moscow in 1990 as a state initiative of the RSFSR. VTB Group deals with investments via VTB Capital, their investments in innovative and high-technology companies are one of the priority development lines of VTB Group’s investment business. The main profile of VTB Bank is retail and corporate banking.