Korea's КТ&G, Japan Tobacco International, Czech and British investment funds have declared interest in the privatization of Bulgaria's state cigarette producer Bulgartabac Holding, according to media reports.
Korean KT&G had voiced interest in the privatization of Bulgartabac as early as during the term of the government of Simeon Saxe-Coburg.
KT&G is the largest cigarette and tobacco company in Korea, whose share accounts for 80% of the local market. Over the last ten years the company has been purchasing from Bulgartabac Bulgarian tobacco used in the manufacture of cigarettes.
Japan Tobacco Inc. (JT) is the third largest tobacco company in the world, having its headquarters in Tokyo. According to Euromonitor data, the share of the corporation in the world market makes 10.5%. JT International (JTI) is the international subdivision of "Japan Tobacco Inc.", formed as a result of purchase of the international tobacco business of American R.J. Reynolds International Concern by the Japanese company. The head office of JTI is in Geneva.
JTI sells cigarette brands including Camel and Salem. It runs 16 tobacco plants outside Japan — in Canada, Kazakhstan, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Andorra, Germany, India, Malaysia, Switzerland, Jordan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey and Russia, where it has two sites.
At the end of 2006 the company acquired UK tobacco company Gallaher after its GBP 7.5 B takeover bid for the maker of Silk Cut cigarettes and Hamlet cigars proved successful.
Speaking for Dnevnik daily Martin Braddock, JTI's Regional President, CIS, Romania and Adriatics, confirmed last yer that the company is interested in the acquisition of Bulgartabac, but its bid will depend on sale price, planned lay-offs and investments.
Bulgaria's state cigarette producer Bulgartabac Holding, whose management has been harshly criticized in recent years, will be declared for privatization on Tuesday after years of procrastination.
The long-delayed procedure will be given the go-ahead by the agency for privatization and post-privatization control.
The sale of Bulgartabac Holding AD, Sopot-based Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi or VMZ, and the minority stakes in the electricity distributors have been said to be a must-do task in 2011 due to the sorry performance of the state-owned companies.