“Privatization”: what and how much Ukraine sells in 2020

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Ukraine is preparing for the largest sale of large state-owned enterprises in the past few years. At the end of December 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a list of objects subject to privatization, which are estimated at least 12 billion hryvnns ($ 480 million). However, the State Property Fund does not expect investors to try out all the “Investments” in 2020. And the experts with whom UA-Times talked: “Ukraine will receive a market price for its largest assets”.

Record and privatization centenarians

The official start of a new wave of privatization was given by Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk on December 27. In his Telegram channel, he wrote that the Cabinet of Ministers had transferred 530 enterprises for privatization.

“The government transferred 530 state enterprises for privatization. In almost 4 months, more state facilities were transferred for privatization from all 28 years of independence,”the prime minister emphasized.

However, in January 2020, the privatization list was shrunk. On January 21, Prime Minister Honcharuk instructed Dmitry Sennichenko, head of the State Property Fund, to sell 300 properties. According to the Cabinet of Ministers, the main dish for potential investors should be, in particular, 11 energy companies, as well as a number of heavy engineering enterprises and mining companies.

For many years now, the energy giant, Centrenergo, has been “selling”. The Public Joint-Stock Company includes three thermal power plants – Tripolskaya TPP in the Kiev region, Zmievskaya TPP in the Kharkov region, and Uglegorsk TPP in the Donetsk region, as well as a separate unit of Remenergo, which is located in the village. Cherkasy. The total installed capacity of production assets is 7665 MW, which is about 14% of the total capacity of Ukrainian power plants.

Photo: Vuhlehirska Power Station http://mpe.kmu.gov.ua/

This time, according to the Cabinet of Ministers, it is planned to put up for an auction 78.3% of the shares of the enterprise, which, according to unofficial information, is controlled by the close management to businessman Ihor Kolomoisky. However, the head of the State Property Fund, Dmitry Sennichenko, doubts that the energy giant will find a new owner this year as well.

“The company has its own story. At the moment there is no adviser. Therefore, to begin with, we must announce a competition for this position I think we can handle this in January. But honestly, I do not see prospects for Centrenergo privatization in 2020, ”he said. Sennichenko signed the order on the creation of a tender commission for the selection of privatization advisers to PJSC Centrenergo on January 21. Before this, the State Property Fund carried out rotation of the members of the supervisory board of PJSC “Centrenergo”, and also issued an order to hold a competition for the head of the company and sent an order to the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture to organize it. Those. the process is running.

Another privatization long-liver of PJSC Odessa Port Plant may be sold at the end of the year. But this is if the stars converge (pay off gas debts with Dmitry Firtash, which has not been done for many years). As part of preparing this facility for privatization, in December there was a rotation of members of the supervisory board of PJSC Odessa Port Plant.

“Kyyivoblenerho” for sale and and no one needs “Ukrspyrt Hp”

They plan to send for sale a number of regional energy companies controlled by companies associated with the Surkis brothers, as well as businessman Konstantin Grigorishin and the so-called “Luzhnikovskaya” group of the State Duma deputy of the previous convocations, Alexander Babakov. We are talking about Zaporozhyeoblenergo Kharkivoblenergo, Nikolayevoblenergo, Khmelnitskyoblenergo, as well as a number of thermal power plants. However, the Russian ex-deputy denied in a media that he have assets in Ukraine

PJSC Sumykhimprom, controlled by the people of Dmitry Firtash, as well as Irshansky GOK and Volnohorsk Mining and Metallurgical Plant, previously rented by the oligarch, fell under the hammer of a licensor. So far, the only contender for the first venture is the media itself called the “Vienna Prisoner.”

Investors are also offered a 50% stake in the engineering giant Azovmash. The group, which worked for the defense industry and supplied components for tanks and tankers for missiles, according to unofficial data, is controlled by the scandalous deputy of the previous convocations, Yuri Ivanyushchenko, was unable to replace the loss of the Russian market and was declared bankrupt in 2019.

But the government’s proposal to retain controlling stakes in “NAK” “Naftogaz” and “Ukrposhta” remains only a proposal.

The fate of Ukraine’s largest turbine manufacturer, Turboatom Joint-Stock Company, still unclear. The government did not include it in the list of objects that are planned for sale. However, at the forum in Davos (Switzerland, January 21-24), the company appeared in the investment menu for investors. At the end of 2019, the company’s net profit amounted to about 500 million hryvnas.

There was also another long-term bidder for sale “Ukrspirt.”

Photo ukrspirt.com

International partners, even during the presidency of Petro Poroshenko, insisted on the privatization of the enterprise. However, it continues to be in state ownership. According to the director of the Association of suppliers of retail chains Alexei Doroshenko,the time for the sale already finished. “Three years ago, investors were ready to buy the walls of distilleries with a license for the production of alcohol … However, now no one is interested in the enterprise,” the expert said to UA-Times.

Doroshenko explained that a scheme has already been established
for the purchase of processing imported alcohol by new company . accordingly, there will be no demand for a similar.

Sales negotiation- 100 million maximum

As noted, during the Davos forum, the chairman of the State Property Fund Dmitry Sennichenko, at the moment all the assets that are planned for privatization have already been transferred to the management of a subordinate structure. He suggested that this year no more than 5 objects of large privatization can be sold, since not everything depends on theProperty Fund of Ukraine . “We are only the executive body,” added the main privatizer.

The experts UA-Times spoke to were divided in their assessments of the government’s privatization plans. Dmitry Churin, head of the analytical department at Eavex Capital, supports the initiatives and suggests that by the end of the year controlling stakes in a number of oblenergo will be sold. However, the expert does not believe in the privatization of the state-owned company Centrenergo in 2020, for example.

“Based on the Fund’s forecast of 3-5 objects, we assume that we are talking about state-owned stakes in oblenergo owned by the state: Ternopil, Kharkov or Nikolaevoblenergo,” expert noted .

Economist Alekxy Kushch suggests that for oblenergo at auctions today it will be possible to make no more than $ 100 million per object and does not believe that serious investors will take part in privatization. “The cost will be determined based on the capabilities of potential buyers, and they are ready to spend no more than 100 million per object,” Kushch told UA-Times.

Speaking about the prospects of privatization, the expert suggested that enterprises would not be sold at the maximum price. Kushch recalled that the new law on privatization allows reducing the starting price for an object in case of failure of the first tender.

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