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Bulgaria's Bulgartabac Publicly Accused over Canceled Car Deal

Date: 05.11.2009

Bulgartabac Holding has contracted for the delivery of almost 50 vehicles, almost a month ahead of the company’s annual general meeting.

This is the claim made Monday by the manager of Bühler-Berger Bulgaria EOOD, in a letter to the media. This action effectively annuls their existing rental contract with Bulgartabac, the letter states.

Until October 28, the company serviced the car fleet of the holding in the form of long-term rental of vehicles. The Executive Director of Bulgartabak Holding, Ivan Bilarov, has cancelled the contract with Bühler-Berger Bulgaria with no legal grounds, according to them.

"It is required of us to accept the entire car fleet in an impossible period of time, which they have exploited until now, without us being able to physically check the real technical condition of the vehicles in question to the requested date for return", says the letter to the media, quoted by Focus.

According to the claimants, the actions of the Executive Director of Bulgartabak are dictated by the forthcoming meeting of the holding, where it is expected that the entire Board of Management, including Bilarov himself, will be replaced during the December 10 session.

Bühler-Berger Bulgaria also declared that Bilarov’s actions have been conducted counter to any business logic and etiquette.

In a reply to the media, Bilarov maintains that the new contract is more lucrative for Bulgartabac Holding.

"We have much more beneficial conditions with the new contract which has not yet come into force. This is an issue which we have postponed for a while but the entire procedure has been finished. We have the permission of the Agency on Privatization and of our corporate organs", commented Ivan Bilarov.

The Executive Director also stated that the new contract for about 50 Renault vehicles was necessary to support his trade representatives around the country.

A recent survey estimated that Bulgartabac holding posted a loss of BGN 932 000 for the first nine months of 2009. This was in contrast to the results for the corresponding period in 2008, when the company showed profits of BGN 54,3 M. A company spokesperson stated that Bulgartabac Holding would probably break even at the end of 2009.

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