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Equest Inv Balkans (TBI)


Tuesday 17 March, 2009

Equest Inv Balkans

Update on Novera

RNS Number : 9849O
Equest Investments Balkans Ltd
17 March 2009

17 March 2009 


                                                                                                                                           Update on Novera      


EQUEST Investments Balkans (EIB) is an active investment company operating in Bulgaria and South East European markets since 2004 and is one of the leading foreign investors in Bulgaria. EIB has a number of investments in the country including Novera ('the Company') which is operating in the waste management services sector in Sofia.


EIB is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and its shareholders consist of leading global Institutional Investors. 


In early 2007, EIB acquired three Bulgarian waste collection and snow removal concession companies through Novera AD ('Novera'). EIB owns 94% of Novera and a mezzanine lender holds 6% through an investment vehicle.  The cost of EIB's equity investment in Novera as at 30 June 2008 was Euros 21.5 million. Since 30 June 2008, as a part of a debt reorganisation, EIB has issued a corporate guarantee for a current value of approximately Euro 12.6 million to the senior debt lender.


Novera controls Chistota-Sofia AD and Ditz AD companies, which each hold 15-year concessions expiring in 2014 for providing waste management and street cleaning services to the Sofia Municipality. The smaller concession held through Wolf 96 AD expired on 1 March 2009 in accordance with its concession agreement.


Recent developments in Novera


On 13 March 2009, the Concessionaires received letters from the Municipality of Sofia informing them that it was terminating with immediate effect the Concession Agreements. As grounds for such termination, the Municipality cited a letter from the local Environmental Inspectorate raising health and safety hazards and claimed 'non-performance' of the Concession Agreements by the Concessionaires. 


EIB rejects the basis for such a termination and is consulting with its lenders as well as both its own and its lenders' international and local legal counsel with a view to seeking urgent redress and to the upholding of the Concession Agreements.


Novera remains fully committed to providing waste collection services to the Municipality of Sofia but actions taken by the Municipality prevent it from doing so.


As at 30 June 2008, EIB's Net Asset Value was Euro 449.0 million.


For further information please contact:


Equest Investments Balkans Limited

+ 44 20 7240 7600

Petri Karjalainen


Collins Stewart Europe Limited (Nomad)

+ 44 20 7523 8350

Hugh Field


KBC Peel Hunt Limited (Broker)

+ 44 20 7418 8900

Capel Irwin


Financial Dynamics

+ 44 20 7831 3113
Ed Gascoigne-Pees

Nick Henderson 


Notes to Editors:

Equest Investments Balkans Limited is an AIM traded industrial conglomerate for the South East European region which was established in 2004. Today, apart from Novera, the Company has majority controlling stakes in companies including TechnomarketDomo, the market leader in electronics retail in the region and Avto Union, an automotive importer and distributor for Bulgaria. The Company is also a strategic partner with Austria's leading insurance company Uniqa jointly holding the 5th largest insurer in Bulgaria and a participation in the Borovets mountain resort development project. Additionally the Company has select property investments and developments through its subsidiaries Pelican and Immofinance. 


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

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