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Sofia halts Boyana film center deal

Date: 08.12.2005

The deal for the Boyana Film Center will be halted, Culture Minster Stefan Danailov announced Tuesday.

It doesn't mean that the deal will be suspended, the culture minister explained. In his words a new procedure for the privatization might be launched.

Danailov met with former Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg, who was also interested in the future of the Boyana Film Center. The Culture Minister confirmed that he accepts the decision of the Privatization Agency to halt the decision.

During the one-hour meeting between Saxe-Coburg and Danailov the two have also discussed the Valley of the Kings, which boasts several Thracian tombs, and the "Saint 40 Martyrs" church near Veliko Tarnovo.

Earlier in November US movie maker Nu Image lodged a claim with Bulgarian Prosecution Office accusing the country's privatization agency head of deliberately delaying the sale of Boyana Film Centre.

The state sale body signed a draft contract with Nu Image for the sale of 95% stake at Boyana Film Studios in August but has failed to finalize the EUR 6.26 M deal.

The allegations come as Bulgaria's efforts to improve its investment climate ahead of European Union entry are undermined by a number of major privatization and concession deals that have recently collapsed.

Nu Image was one of the three final bidders for Boyana film center. It pitched the highest bid, a total of EUR 6.250 M (BGN 12.2 M) for acquiring a 95% stake in the Bulgarian film center. They vowed first-year investments of EUR 11.4 M out of the whole of EUR 15.6 M in investment plans. Compensation instruments are to be paid for 30% of the shares.

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