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Equest Inv Balkans (TBI)


Thursday 11 June, 2009

Equest Inv Balkans

Trading Update

RNS Number : 7717T
Equest Investments Balkans Ltd
11 June 2009

11 June 2009




The Board of  Equest Investments  Balkans  Limited  ('EIB' or the 'Company') today announces (i) a trading update,
and (ii) the appointment of a new chief financial officer.

Trading Update

Non-core asset disposal program

EIB has to date in 2009 announced the disposals of Avto Union and a further 21.19% of Uniqa Bulgaria to Uniqa International.

The Company today announces that it has also completed the disposal of a number of individual property and land holdings including Castle Golf Properties, comprising agricultural land plots in Romania, for a consideration of Euro 0.8 million in cash, and its remaining 30% minority holding in the Boyana Park Development, a residential development in Sofia, for a consideration of Euro 0.6 million in cash.

EIB has commenced negotiations on further land and property disposals including Rodacar, the 12,300 sq m retail warehouse property in Varna, and the mixed use Serdika project, located in the centre of Sofia.

EIB icontinuing its non-core asset disposal programme to provide liquidity for its operations, as well as to provide additional funds to help facilitate debt restructurings in certain group subsidiaries. With the exception of the new Novera senior loan (referred to below), all are currently financed on a non recourse basis to EIB. The disposal programme is progressing well in current difficult market conditions.

TechnomarketDomo Update ('TMD')

The Board of EIB is in discussions with TMD's banks to restructure its loan facilities and a further announcement will be made in due course.


As noted in the Company's announcement on 17 March 2009, the Municipality of Sofia has terminated Novera's waste management concessionsAs announced on 0December 2008, EIB provided, as part of an earlier debt restructuring for Novera, a corporate guarantee for Euro 15 million to InvestkreditBank AG ('IKB') in respect of its senior loan to Novera.

The outstanding balance of Euro 12.97 million under the senior loan to IKB has been settled by, and the loan transferred to, new senior lender. EIB is thereby released from its guarantee obligation

EIB is currently evaluating all its options in relation to Novera, including with respect to the terminated concessions. A further announcement will be made in due course. 

Commenting, Petri Karjalainen, Executive Director of the Company, said:

'We are very pleased to have completed a number of disposals in the past few months, particularly in the prevailing difficult market conditions. These disposals are in line with our current strategy of focusing on our core holdings, TechnomarketDomo and Borovets, and raising funds to facilitate the restructuring of our group debt'.

Appointment of new chief financial officer

The Board of EIB is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Roger de Bazelaire as interim chief financial officerHe will lead the Company's finance team and report directly to the Board of EIB.

Mr. de Bazelaire has gained extensive experience in finance in operating companies in Central & Eastern Europe, including the retail sector. Mr. de Bazelaire will be responsible for all financial matters relating to EIB and its subsidiaries, including negotiations and relationships with EIB's financing banks, and will be based in Sofia. Mr. de Bazelaire previously worked at A&D Pharma Holdings NV, a leading pharmaceutical wholesaler, sales and marketing services and retail business in Romania, where he was the chief financial officer, as well as ALTIMO, the telecommunications arm of Alfa Group, where he was responsible for developing the Company's strategy, asset restructuring and financing. Mr. de Bazelaire was also the chief financial officer at TP S.A, the leading Polish Telecom group, part of France Telecom, and began his early career holding various finance posts in Latin America and Eastern Europe.

Commenting, Ian Schmiegelow, Chairman of the Board, said:

 'We are delighted to welcome Roger de Bazelaire as the incoming CFO of EIB. Roger has a strong background in Central and Eastern Europe as well as in EIB's core operating sectors, and brings considerable expertise and experience to the management of the financial affairs of EIB and its holdings'.



Equest Investments Balkans Limited 

Tel: + 44 20 7240 7600 

Petri Karjalainen 

Naomi Kora

Financial Dynamics 

Tel: + 44 20 7831 3113 

Nick Henderson 

David Cranmer

Collins Stewart Europe Limited (Nomad)

Tel: +44 20 7523 8350

Hugh Field

KBC Peel Hunt Limited (Broker) 

Tel: + 44 20 7418 8900 

Capel Irwin

This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange

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