Moldova’s self-proclaimed Transdniestria region sold the cement plant in the town of Ribnita to Hungarian construction company Tegep for $1.5 million (1.2 million euro) after a call price of $1.0 mln, the region’s official news agency Olvia-press said on Thursday. "The situation in the plant was so bad that we decided to ask a minimum price for the stake in the company," the region’s economy minister Elena Cernenco told Olvia-press. Tegep bought 90,400 shares in the plant and will be expected to invest a further $1.4 million to overhaul and upgrade the plant over the next five years. The new owner will also have to to pay the plant’s outstanding debts to gas, power and water suppliers of some $8.0 million. Other bidders for the stake were Russian company Inteka, Bahamas-based EMA and Investel Ltd, based in Gibraltar.
The Ribnita cement plant was built in 1971 and specialises in cement and construction material production. Its statutory capital stood at $11.5 million at the end of June. It has 868 employees. The government of the breakaway Transdniestria region earlier said it planned to privatise more than 75 companies this year after selling 14 firms in 2003. The rebel Dnestr region has already sold four companies this year, including two footwear companies, the region’s biochemical plant and metal packaging company Tiraspol Metalolithographia Factory.