In Brief - 2003-09-25

  • 2003-09-25

TeliaSonera seeks to up Omnitel stake
TeliaSonera, the Nordic telecommunication giant, is seeking to acquire another 35 percent stake in Lithuania's mobile-phone operator Omnitel.
TeliaSonera asked Lithuania's competition council for permission to acquire the shares for $170 million, which would increase its interest in Omnitel up to 90 percent. "A lot of material has been received, and the specialists of the service have started analyzing it. Under the law, the investigation may last for up to four months," the competition council's press officer Palmira Kvietkauskiene said.
TeliaSonera, which holds a 60 percent stake in Lietuvos Telekomas, signed an agreement on the acquisition of another 35 percent share in Omnitel with Motorola at the end of August. (Baltic Business News)

Lithuania's PakMarkas has won a 600,000 litas (171,000 euro) contract for the production of adhesive labels from Ireland's packaging products printer AC Tape.
The Vilnius-based packaging and labeling firm is planning to complete its first purchase order from Ireland in a couple of months.
Ronaldas Vaitiekunas, PakMarkas' marketing manager, said that this particular order of labels was the largest in the company's nine-year history. According to Vaitiekunas, the company's investments in production technologies this year came to 4 million litas, and its services have been provided to Latvian, Estonian, Belarusian and Russian businesses.
Verslo Zinios reported earlier that PakMarkas had posted adhesive labels sales of over 6 million litas in the first six months this year, up 38 percent against the same period in 2002. (BBN)

Swedish gouda for Cesis
Swedish cheese producer OstSpecialisten said it intended to sign an agreement on the production of gouda cheese with the Veselava dairy producers union.
Andris Actins, chairman of the board of the union, said that the agreement would be signed at the beginning of October and production would begin in December near Cesis. The producers will process approximately 10 tons of milk and produce one ton of cheese daily, according to the agreement.
By signing the agreement, the union obliged to undertake the preparation of production premises in accordance with the food circulation and sanitation requirements, while OstSpecialisten will ensure technological provisions, training and sales of the cheese. (BBN)

Refinery restructuring debt
Mazeikiu Nafta announced that it planned to sign a $15 million overdraft deal with the London branch of Citibank.
Mazeikiu Nafta's board on Sept. 18 authorized director Paul Nelson English to sign a credit limit agreement with Citibank in London, spokesman Giedrius Karsokas told the Baltic News Service. "The money will only be used if [Mazeikiu Nafta] needs it urgently - for example, if somebody fails to settle with the company on time," he said.
Mazeikiu Nafta completed the first phase of refinery modernization, which lasted over a year, at the beginning of September. It invested $17 million on equipment reconstruction and $62.5 million on new equipment. Shareholders of the oil concern will be asked in November to decide on further upgrade, which would require another $400 million – $600 million to be invested. (Baltic News Service)

Court rejects LMT collateral offer
A Riga district court on Sept. 18 turned down the demand of British Kempmayer Media Limited to retain a 23 percent stake in LMT, the mobile phone operator, as collateral.
Currently the stake belongs to Latvia's Digital Radio and Television Center, a partner of Kempmayer on the Latvian digital TV project. According to unofficial information, the court based its decision on the fact that the situation with LDRTC does not correspond to the civil law, which stipulates that a claim should be satisfied if there is reason to expect dishonest or other deeds, which would diminish the possibilities of recovery of debt.
Prime Minister Einars Repse recently blasted the British company for going to court, labeling the move shameless, and he indirectly implied that Kempmayer was comprised of criminals. The prime minister said he believes that the true owners of the British company KML are in fact Latvian nationals hiding behind a front company.
On Sept. 23 it was reported that prosecutor general Janis Maizitis has requested British law enforcement bodies for technical assistance in the criminal case initiated against Kempmayer by the Bureau of Corruption Prevention and Control. (BBN)

One more compromise on pork
The Ministry of Agriculture, hog breeders and meat processors have reached another compromise on regulating pork prices in Latvia.
The compromise was attained after consideration of proposals by Lithuania and Estonia. The agreement foresees establishing quotas and customs tariffs on the import of pigs. Estonia, according to the new agreement, can now export to Latvia up to 3,891 tons of pigs, Lithuania – 1,578 tons, and 11 tons from Poland. The agreement also foresees increasing the total pork quota from 6,203 tons to 8,621 tons.
In July Latvia's new pork protection measures came into effect after a law was adopted by Parliament to protect hog breeders. (BBN)