The Bulgarian Privatisation Agency should continue the cancelled competition for the sale of the country’s sole gypsum producer Gips, a five-member panel of the Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) decided as regards the company’s sell-off. In 2004 the sell-off agency invited a public competition to sell 99.52 per cent in Gips. The agency accepted offers by 1400 local time on September 20, 2004. Bulgarian bathroom and sanitary equipment maker Han Asparuh, Euro Mix Bulgaria and Turkish firm ABS Alci Ve Blok Sanayi filed bids for Gips. The Turkish bidder filed its offer after the deadline expiry as a result of which the sell-off body left it out of the procedure. The Turkish company filed a claim in court insisting on cancellation of the sell-off procedure and the court ruled that the procedure should be suspended.
Set up in 1965, Gips operates the gypsum field Koshava. Gips has over 1200 customers in Bulgaria and abroad. It delivers gypsum to Holcim Bulgaria, a subsidiary of Swiss cement maker Holcim, local cement makers Plevenski Cement and Zlatna Panega and Ytong Bulgaria, a subsidiary of aerated concrete products manufacturer Ytong. Gips posted a 2004 turnover of 12.4 mln levs ($7.9m) and a 2004 profit of 496,000 levs ($318,418), sell-off agency data showed. The gypsum maker currently employs 355. Gips has been in the black in the last ten years and has not halted production since 1965.