Bulgarian govt cancels privatisation procedure for arms producer VMZ.

By bne IntelliNews January 15, 2013
Bulgarian privatisation agency has cancelled the procedure for sale of country's largest military plant, VMZ Sopot, investor.bg reported. The agency has confirmed for the media that the only candidate, local arms producer EMCO, submitted a purchase proposal by the set deadline (Jan 14) but failed make the required deposit of BGN 3mn, which invalidates the offer. Such an outcome was anticipated as one of the requirements of EMCO was massive lay-offs, representing some 70% of the current employees. If approved this would mean that some 2,000 people would be left without a job, which would lead to social unrest that the government would not allow especially right before the elections. Therefore, the failure of the privatisation procedure is not surprising. Bulgarian government was hoping to finalise the sale of the indebted plant in 2013 following privatisation attempts dating back to 2005.

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