Moldova’s rebels to sell Ribnita works

Moldova’s rebels to sell Ribnita works
Published: 19 August 2004

Moldova’s self-proclaimed region of Transdniestria said on Wednesday it has offered for sale 100 per cent of the Ribnita cement plant, as part of efforts to attract cash into the war-exhausted enclave blighted by economic stagnation.  The separatist government of the Transdniestria region has said earlier it planned to sell more than 75 companies this year, despite repeated warnings to foreign investors issued by Moldovan authorities that they risked losing their property in the breakaway region if Chisinau gave no permission for the sell-offs.

"Potential investors are being offered the state-held package of shares comprising 100 percent of the plant ... the capital is distributed in 90,400 shares with par value of $127 (103.2 euro)," Transdniestria’s Economy Ministry said in a statement.

The starting price of the bid or negotiations is $1, but the buyer will be expected to pay the plant’s debts to gas, power and water suppliers of some $8.0 million, the ministry said.  The buyer will be expected to invest a further $1.4 million to rehaul and upgrade the plant in the next five years.

The Ribnita cement plant was built in 1971. It specialises in cement and construction materials production. Its statutory capital stood at $11.5 million by the end of June. It has 868 employees.

Transdniestria, a tiny region of 700,000 people on Moldova’s eastern border, ceded from the country in 1990 of fears by its Slavic, pro-Russian population that Moldova’s Romanian-speaking majority would unite with neighbouring Romania.  Moldova has offered the region broad autonomy, but Transdniestrian authorities demand full independence and maintain border patrols with Moldova.