Bulgaria's Privatization Agency is set to file a claim against the National Bank of Greece for at least EUR 3 M at the Court of Arbitration in Paris, for failing to pay a bank guarantee.
The Privatization Agency contends that the failure to pay the guarantee for the Greek Public Power Corporation (PPC) has interfered with the privatization of the Bobov Dol power plant.
The Bulgarian unit has already posted a competition for a court representative for the proceedings with a deadline of August 19.
The claim refers to the 2007 privatization bid of Bobov Dol, in which Greek PPC and Italian Enel participated, with PPC winning, after tabling EUR 36 M for 51% of the power plant, and vowing another EUR 34.8 for an additional share of 33%.
The procedure nevertheless resulted in a failure, after PPC declined to sign a preparatory aggreement. PPC appealed and the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court accepted its claim, declaring the Greek company the buyer of Bobov Dol.
In the ensuing negotiations, the Privatization Agency and PPC again failed to reach an agreement, after which the Supremen Administrative Court confirmed the Agency's decision to terminate the deal.
That should have led to the payment of the bank guarantee for PPC, which the National Bank of Greece failed to do.
At a second attempt in privatizing Bobov Dol in 2008, PPC was interested again, but eventually failed to table a bid.
The power plant was solt to Bulgarian company MK Energy, under the control of notorious businessman Hristo Kovatchki, who recently received a suspended sentence for tax evasion.