Bulgaria's Bankrupt Steel Mill Buyer on Watchlist over Taxes

Industry | April 27, 2011, Wednesday // 09:46|  views

26-year-old Lachezar Varnadzhiev, whose purchase of the Kremikovtzi steel mill dismayed Bulgaria, will be permanently probed by tax officers. Photo by Dnevnik daily

Bulgaria's state revenue agency has vowed to keep a non-stop watch over the tax papers of the buyer of the country's biggest steel mill Kremikovtzi as many question marks surround the deal.

Bulgaria finally sold earlier in April the production assets of bankrupt Kremikovtzi steel mill in a fourth auction to a newly established local company, owned by 26-year-old Lachezar Varnadzhiev.

The deal was signed just a month after "Eltrade company" was established on March 8, 2011 with a capital of mere BGN 20 000, a check in the Trade Registry shows, triggering suspicions who stays behind it. It is Varnadzhiev's only company and it is supposed to be a black and colored metal dealer.

"The sale of Kremikovtzi is very mysterious, but we have already launched a probe," the head of the revenue agency Krassimir Stefanov told the morning broadcast of bTV channel on Wednesday.

The probe, which has been initiated personally by the head of the revenue agency Krassimir Stefanov, tracks down the origin of the money used for Kremikovtzi purchase, the company's transactions with other companies and physical persons and the taxes submitted before and after the deal.

"Now the origin of the money is clear," Stefanov said, referring to the announcement of Bulgaria's privately-owned First Investment Bank (FIBank) that it has extended a loan for the acquisition of the country's biggest steel mill Kremikovtzi.

"All that we care about now is that we manage to collect the outstanding payments which the steel mill owes to the revenue agency and monitor the tax behavior of this brand new company," he added.

"The company will be put under continuous monitoring from now on."

"Eltrade company" has the same address as Nadin - N, a well established scrap dealer. Vladimir Todorov, member of Nadin – N's board of directors, was present at the auction on April 12.

There is no official information about the revenues and expenditures of Eltrade Company.

Bulgaria's privately-owned First Investment Bank (FIBank) said it had provided all the funding for Kremikovtzi steel mill, amounting to nearly BN 320 M.

At the end of last month First Investment Bank issued a EUR 20 M bond, which allowed it to boost its credit portfolio by more than BGN 320 M, which is exactly the price of Kremikovtzi sale deal.

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Tags: Revenue Agency, probe, Velpet Konsult, Nadin Metals Trade, sofia, Kremikovtzi, steel giant, lachezar varnadzhiev, eltrade company, nadin - n, scrap, Alexander Tomov, pramod mittal, Konstantin Zhevago, KC2, Krasen Stanchev, steel, mill, Bulgaria, First Investment Bank, FIBank, Krassimir Stefanov


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