ECONOMY

Preparing for sell-off

SOFIA (SeeNews) – Bulgarian state-owned tobacco firm Bulgartabak Holding has adopted a restructuring plan aimed at increasing its competitiveness ahead of Bulgaria’s accession to the EU and preparing the sale of tobacco-processing units, the Economy Ministry said yesterday. The plan says Bulgartabak will sell all its tobacco-processing companies, except for Pleven BT, through a public tender or the local stock exchange, the ministry said. The cigarette-making factories Sofia BT, Blagoevgrad BT, Plovdiv BT and Slantse Stara Zagora BT will continue operating as part of the holding company. Bulgaria has made several unsuccessful attempts to sell the tobacco major, either as a whole group or in pieces. The last effort failed in 2005, after British American Tobacco withdrew from a 200-million-euro ($239.6 million) piecemeal sale of Bulgartabak’s three best-performing cigarette factories.