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EBRD and CEECAT Capital exit Bulgarian Monbat under MBO deal

SOFIA (Bulgaria), June 29 (SeeNews) – Bulgarian car battery manufacturer Monbat [BUL:MONB] said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and private equity firm CEECAT Capital exited their joint stake in the company.

The two shareholders disposed of their stakes through a management buyout (MBO) transaction with HoldCo Investment, which is indirectly owned by Monbat’s six senior executives, Monbat said in a notice to the competition regulator filed with the Exchange. Bulgarian (BSE) on Tuesday.

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The EBRD and CEECAT Capital last week sold all their shares in Dutch company Prista HoldCo Cooperatief UA, representing a 20.78% stake in Monbat, to HoldCo Investment. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

HoldCo Investment is indirectly owned by EKIP Monbat, which is an investment vehicle of Monbat CEO Victor Spiriev, as well as senior executives Chavdar Danev, Petar Petrov, Petar Bozadjiev, Vildiras Kamenov and Bozhidar Nekeziev, according to documents available from the registration agency.

“Since we became a shareholder of Monbat alongside CEECAT Capital, we have successfully supported the management thanks to our international experience, our network and our complementary financing. We are convinced that after the buyout by the management, the company will continue on a path of transparency and good to strengthen its operations, continuing to embrace sustainability and being a leader in the circular economy,” said EBRD Associate Director Svetlin Pislenski.

Monbat is now one of the top five lead-acid battery manufacturers in Europe, with all six managers involved in expanding the company’s operations in Romania, Serbia, Italy, Germany and Tunisia.

“New challenges in the energy sector are likely to provide new good opportunities for the company to successfully adapt to the market environment,” Spiriev said.

Prista HoldCo Cooperatief, the parent company of Bulgarian motor and industrial oil producer Prista Oil Holding, increased its stake in Monbat to 20.78% in 2016 by acquiring an additional 5% of its share capital.

As of March 31, Prista Oil Holding was Monbat’s largest shareholder, with some 16.7 million shares corresponding to a 42.73% stake, according to the battery maker’s latest half-yearly financial statements. Prista Holdco Cooperatief held some 8.1 million shares of Monbat at the end of the first quarter.

Shares of Monbat, which has a market capitalization of 214.5 million levs ($115.3 million/€109.7 million), were trading at 5.50 levs at 2:21 p.m. CEST on Wednesday on the BSE.

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)