Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly may be up for sale..

May 20, 2009 - Bulgaria's tobacco monopoly Bulgartabac Holding may be declared for sale during the current week. The news was announced Tuesday by the Novinar Daily which cites sources from Bulgaria's Privatization Agency.

The Agency is quoted as saying that Bulgartabac Holding would be privatized as a package including its two remaining factories in Sofia and Blagoevgrad, and a smaller plant in the village of Yasen close to Pleven. The way through which the Bulgarian tobacco monopoly will be privatized - through the Bulgarian Stock Exchange or by seeking a strategic investor - is said to become clear by the end of the current week. At the end of 2008, the Bulgarian Parliament voted to cross Bulgartabac out of the list of state-owned companies that cannot be privatized.

In the summer of 2008, Bulgartabac already sold two of its plants - in Plovdiv and in Stara Zagora - through the Stock Exchange.

It is interesting to note that Russia intends to take back a number of companies abroad that were once the property of the former Soviet Union, including Bulgarian cigarette maker Bulgartabac.

Reference: Bulgaria Cigarette-maker Bulgartabac Goes on Sale - Report, Sofia News Agency - Novinite.com, 5/19/2009.

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