Swiss Company Purchases AraratCement

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Holcim Co. of Switzerland has become the new owner of the Ararat cement OJSC.

According to State Property Management Minister David Vardanian–"the offer of the Swiss company is normal–and the privatization deal can be considered successful." Paying $6 million for the shares and $4 million for the premises–the Swiss company pledged to invest $12 million within six years–$3 million of which during the next three years. Holcim Co. pledged to ensure 600 jobs and provided social guarantees of $7.8 million to 800 people who become jobless. For three years they will be paid a sum equivalent to their current wages. Thus–the total sum of the proposed program is $30.22 million.

Holcim Co. is the world’s second largest cement producer. It operates in over 70 countries of the world including Russia–Ukraine–Azerbaijan–Uzbekistan and Estonia.

In March 2001–IBTCI Co.–a consultant of the Ministry of State Property Management–sent bulletins about the tender for the privatization of Araratcement to over 300 possible investors. The sale was also advertised on the Webpage of the Ministry. Nine companies expressed interest in the tender. Among them were British S. K. Ajikawo–Lebanese Seament–Greek Titan–and Holcim. Bids for participation in the tender were offered only by Holcim and S. K. Ajikawo. The commission did not accept S. K. Ajikawo’s bid because of their failure to pay 158.5 million drams as pre-payment for participation in the tender.

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