Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Hroisman stated at a government's meeting on Wednesday, 18 May as the ministers were considering the Cabinet draft on the terms of sale of Odesa Portside Plant PJSC stock of shares owned by the state on a competitive basis within an auction system, Censor.NET reports citing the official website of the Ukrainian Government.
"Our task is to hold this auction as publicly, transparently, openly and efficiently as possible," Volodymyr Hroisman said.
According to him, it is imperative to ensure competition, transparency, accessibility, as well as the largest number of bidders possible. In addition, Ukraine should obtain information on individuals - beneficiaries of the companies participating in the auction "in order to clearly understand the actual owner of the company but not just its name".
"Our goal is to attract as many participants as possible. We will not hold this auction in case of less than two participants," Volodymyr Hroisman stressed.
The prime minister noted that the reserve price of the Odesa Portside Plant PJSC was set at UAH 13,175,000,000 (about $527 million). However, it is expected to be increased as a result of the auction. "There is an appraisal of reasonable value of the plant without any additional assessments of business. It has been determined that it should be 13,175,000,000. It is the reserve price," Volodymyr Hroisman said . "The final price will be determined by the auction regardless of the the reserve one we have set."
The prime minister stressed that consultations had been held with international partners and many foreign representatives expressed readiness to participate in the auction. "Approving these conditions today, we actually provide the opportunity to launch the process of public privatization . The number of buyers and their capabilities will be substantial," the PM said. "All world's leading producers in this field have a great desire to participate in this auction."
The prime minister has noted that the previous qualification requirements for buyers were developed in such a manner that only one company met the criteria. The current qualification requirements are intended to ensure maximum accessibility of the auction. "There are no criteria. Everyone should take part. And we must demonstrate a well-worked public privatization," Volodymyr Hroisman said. However, the entities of the aggressor country won't be allowed to take part in the auction.
The head of the government pointed out that persons whose deliberate actions led to the incurring of debts of the company must be held accountable. "Any debt, and if it has been incurred artificially, it is a challenge not to the owners, but to the law enforcement system," he said.
Volodymyr Hroisman highlighted that this plant had always been a feeding trough for anyone who tried to take possession of it in order to get grey revenues. "So it is critical today that the management and public privatization establish credibility of both the society and international partners, as well as provide the efficient fight against corruption," he said.