Bulgaria's Mark Zuckerberg and the Purchase of KremikovtziEditorial | April 15, 2011, Friday // 10:03| views
The unimaginable happened in Bulgaria this week – a serious buyer appeared out of the blue in the fourth attempt of the State to sell the pile of scrap near Sofia, the once pride of the Communist regime, and now-bankrupt steel mill Kremikovtzi.
The sole bidder was the local Eltrade Company, owned by 26-year-old Lachezar Varnadzhiev. The company was established in the beginning of March. The Trade Registry lists its capital at the mere BGN 20 000. Eltrade has the same address as Nadin - N, a well-established scrap dealer.
Just one year ago, Varnadzhiev had been employed as a modest civil engineer. His former boss and colleagues tell the media they are stunned by the news the coworker they knew had become the owner of the steel behemoth.
Entrepreneurship on the part of a young man is to be lauded. His ambition to succeed, where businessmen of the size of Konstantin Zhevago and Pramod Mittal failed, is commendable. There is nothing wrong in being a young millionaire either - Mark Zuckerberg is the same age as Varnadzhiev.
Of course, there is this tiny detail - the public in the US and the world knows who Zuckerberg is; where he came from, and how exactly his wealth was made.
Obviously, Varnadzhiev is a prop for the real buyer, most likely, Nadin-N, which resorted to the move because their assets are garnished, according to reports.
The purchase is a done deal. The important issue now is what is going to happen to Kremikovtzi this time around? So far, the new owners have not announced any of their plans.
The possibilities range from using the mill to drain money and then abandon the ugly carcass as the scheme has been so far; restructure it and keep the modern production; clean the entire site, along with the depot still emitting a mysterious, red-colored dust, prompting local residents to run for cover, and turn it into a development with office and residential buildings and/or a golf course, as Sofia's Chief Architect used to dream not long ago.
Of course, we are left only to our educated guesses – a sound Bulgarian tradition.
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