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Privatisation agency signs draft sale contract for Bulgaria Air.

Privatisation agency signs draft sale contract for Bulgaria Air. The privatisation agency has successfully completed the talks with the first ranked bidder Balkan Hemus Group in the tender for the national flag carrier Bulgaria Air. The agency has also signed a draft sale contract but will finalise the deal after confirmation by the supervisory board of the agency, the council of ministers, and the antitrust watchdog. The state is selling the full stake in Bulgaria Air but will retain a "golden share" with the right to block key decisions. Balkan Hemus Group, representing the country's second largest air carrier Hemus Air, has offered EUR 6.5mn for full control of Bulgaria Air, investment plan of EUR 82mn over a 5-year period, and a twofold employment growth to 1,062 workers at the end of the same period. Hemus Air is part of the country's largest holding company Chimimport, which has successfully operated an initial public offering in September and has market capitalisation of some EUR 450mn at present. The other candidate, Italy 's Air One, has filed a price bid of EUR 5.32mn and much weaker investment commitments of EUR 8.1mn. Bulgaria Air reports net sales of around EUR 100mn, 750,000 passengers, and pre-tax earnings of EUR 0.26mn

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