Serbia Aborts Bulgarian Tycoon's Privatization Deal

Business | October 27, 2010, Wednesday // 16:37|  views

Kovachki, shown here in June during his tax evasion trial. Photo by BGNES.

Serbia's Privatization Agency terminated its contract with Bultsvet, a company owned by controversial Bulgarian tycoon Hristo Kovachki, for the sale of a factory in the town of Leskovac.

The contract concerns the privatization of the Nevena cosmetics factory in the city of Leskovac.

The Serbian Privatization Agency has already terminated contracts it had with 13 of the total of 15 companies owned by Kovachki, the Nevena factory trade union informed. In May 2009 the Agency aborted Bultsvet's contract for the acquisition of metal working factory Metalac Ivanjica.

According to Serbian newspapers, the reason for the contract terminations is that Kovachki has not fulfilled the respective production schedule and welfare program. The Serbian Privatrization Agency had given Kovachki 15 consecutive deadlines before the termination.

"The termination of this contract put an end to the agony of 257 workers, who hadn' t been paid in months", explained Nebojsa Petrovich, Nevena factory union leader, as cited by the Serbian agency BETA.

Kovachki, whose political project in Bulgaria, a centrist party called LIDER, failed to win seats in July's parliamentary election, has diverse business interests, ranging from manufacturing to banking and from energy to retail.

This is not the first time the Bulgarian energy tycoon raises controversy in Bulgaria's neighbor Serbia. In May the Serbian newspaper Blitz mentioned his possible ties with alleged Balkan drug lord Sreten Josic.

Since 2008, Kovachki has been under investigation in Bulgaria for tax evasion estimated by the prosecution at BGN 16 M.

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Tags: Hristo Kovachki, Serbia, Serbian Privatization Agency, Nevena Leskovac, Leskovac, LIDER, privatization, tycoon


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