28 January 2015
Mergermarket reports Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners advise Belarus' National Agency of Investment and Privatisation on the confectionery factory Konfa and the Minsk Margarine Plant privatisation

 Konfa and Minsk Margarine Plant tenders to be reissued in February

Belarus' National Agency of Investment and Privatisation (NAIP) is preparing to reissue privatisation tenders for the confectionery factory Konfa and the Minsk Margarine Plant (MMP), said Olga Rutkovskaya, head of the privatisation department at NAIP. The launch is expected in the middle of February, she said.

A new group of advisors including Mattig Management Partners, Alfa-Bank, and Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners have been mandated for the privatisation of these companies, Rutkovskaya added. An agreement with the previous consortium of advisers, which this news service previously reported included Ernst & Young FLLC, Ernst & Young Legal Services and Aleinikov & Partners (Belarus), has been terminated, she said.

The privatisation of Konfa and MMP failed during the last round of tenders announced in 2013, as negotiations with strategic investors terminated at the final stage due to undisclosed reasons, as previously reported by this news service.

There were 11 potential investors from Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Malaysia, and Belarus, as reported. NAIP did not contact previous bidders about whether they were still interested in Konfa and MMP, according to Rutkovskaya. There is new interest from local and foreign investors in these assets, she added, without specifying.

Kedainiu Konservu Fabrikas, a privately held Lithuanian preserved food producer, and the Norwegian conglomerate Orkla were previously mentioned as potential bidders for MMP, as reported.

Kedainiu Konservu Fabrikas’ offer during the last tender was recognised as the second best, Vygantas Vanagas, CEO of the company, confirmed. He did not comment on the company’s current interest in MMP.
Orkla was not available for comment.

In 2011, Konfa had revenues of USD 10.44m and MMP had USD 37.6m, as reported. NAIP did not provide the newest results of these companies. Konfa is in the process of recovering its profitability, whereas MMP is “a sustainable and profitable company”, Rutkovskaya said without elaborating.

The privatisation process of another five companies on NAIP’s privatisation list is still ongoing.

The agency expects to receive final offers in February from unidentified bidders from Lithuania, Latvia, China, and Poland relating to four construction-related companies, said Andrey Yuranov, deputy head of the privatisation department at NAIP. These include Baranovichi Reinforced Concrete Products Plant; Avtomagistral, which specializes in roads, airfields and sports venues; Belsantekhmontazh-2, an engineering, construction and installation firm; and Construction and Mounting Trust No. 8, a building services company.

Results of negotiations with a potential investor for Medplast, a producer of medical instruments and plastic products, are still to be reviewed by the Council of Ministers of Belarus, Rutkovskaya said. There are no ongoing negotiations regarding construction and engineering firm Belgazstroy, she added, saying the government has not decided yet on how to proceed with the privatisation of this company.

NAIP was aiming to add eight companies to its privatisation list last year, as reported. New companies on the list could include targets in machinery, agricultural and plastics business, also as reported. There are no decisions regarding extending the privatisation list, the department head said.

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