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Investment fund Equest in talks for majority stake in Borovets expansion project
Updated: 2007-02-21

Investment fund Equest in talks for majority stake in Borovets expansion project
Investment fund Equest is in talks with Bulgarian construction company Glavbolgarstroy to become a shareholder in the company tapped to expand local ski resort Borovets.

It will transpire over the next couple of days whether or not Equest will sign an agreement with Glavbolgarstroy that will establish the fund as the majority shareholder in the project, said Equest managing partner Georgi Krumov.

The fund is pursuing a stake of at least 51% or else it would be unable to successfully structure financially the project, said the company official.

Glavbolgarstroy president Simeon Peshov said Tuesday he would refrain from comments on the project until Thursday, February 22.

This is date on which the Samokov municipal council is expected to approve a deal in which Vesela Kyuleva, the widow of assassinated Bulgarian banker Emil Kyulev, transfers her stake in the Super Borovets project to Glavbolgarstroy.

Kontrakt 99, the vehicle for the Kyulev's participation in the resort expansion project, and Glavbolgarstroy signed a preliminary agreement for the share sale late last week.

Prior the deal, Kontrakt 99 used to control the majority stake in Rila-Samokov 2004, a company specially incorporated for the implementation of the Super Borovets project.

If the deal is completed successfully, the top shareholder will be Glavbolgarstroy with 75%. The Samokov municipality, where the Borovets ski resort is located, owns 25% with the residual 8% held by Energokomplekt.

Rila-Samokov 2004, Kyulev's brainchild, was conceived with the goal of expanding the existing Borovets resort.

Super Borovets is a large project that would overwhelm an investor going it alone, noted Krumov.

In related news, the company operating the Borovets skiing facilities under a concession arrangement said it has drafted a plan for the development of the resort that maps out a pace of infrastructure expansion matched to the bed capacity.

According to the Balkantourist plan, the bed capacity of the resort, currently at 6,500, should not exceed 15,000.

The plan will be submitted for approval to the Samokov municipality by May, said Balkantourist manager Nedialka Sandalska.

Super Borovets envisages the phased construction of hotels and holiday villages with over 17,000 beds including sites at low altitudes.(Dnevnik)

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