Tivat – The privatization of the MTRZ “Sava Kovacevic” from Tivat, which was sold to the Canadian billionaire Peter Mank, which Government of Montenegro marks as one of the most important ones in the newer history of Montenegro, reveals another its controversial dimension which confirms why Mank is one of the most successful businessmen in the world.
Along with the 280.000 m2 of the land well equipped with the infrastructure in the most beautiful part of the Tivat coast, and about 90.000 m2 of buildings in the Arsenal, Canadian businessmen in the ‘Montenegrin deal of the decade”, for 3,26 millions of euros, got extra technical equipment of the value of 5.476.975 euros. That is how much is the estimated value of totally 174 items from the list of the real estate of the Arsenal, in which “Vijesti” has some insight, is, and which the new owner will keep. The equipment which is sufficient for the functioning of a very respectable ship repair capacity, with which Mank does not want to deal with, because he will turn MTRZ into an exclusive nautical – tourist center and a marine for mega yachts, opens the question for what will the skilful Canadian businessman use it for.
The new owner of the Arsenal will keep both floating docks – the big one with the capacity of 12.000 tones and the small one with the capacity of 3.500 tones, a synchronic – lift of the capacity of 900 tones, both tugboats, four fuel and oil caring vehicles, a range of various lathe operator machines, drilling machines, plane machines, grinding machines, circulars, milling machines, cranes of various capacities, pumps, compressors, electrical aggregates, diesel – electrical machine, tanks for petroleum, oil, and compresses gas, machines for hand production of tinplates, baskets for transport of men and cargo, ultrasonic machines for measurement of the thickness of the tinplates, X-ray machine for the control of heats, port – a – flux machine for magnetic examination, several dynamo meters and micro meters, a fire preventing vehicle and fire fighting equipment.
Those familiar with this problem prompt two possible options – the first one, in which Mank according to the already examined receipt in Tivat, for a relatively low price will buy a smaller part of the stock shares of the Adriatic shipbuilding industry Bijela, for which initially he showed interest, and then use the equipment from the Arsenal to manage to come, with the additional capitalization, into the possession of the majority of stock shares of Bijela. The second option is that Mank will simply sell the equipment from the Arsenal, and take care with it one of the contracted obligations towards the Montenegrin side – the payment of 5 millions of euros on a special transit account as an additional way of guarantee to the Municipality of Tivat.
I don’t know and I really wouldn’t speculate why the buyer decided to keep this property of Arsenal. The way in which the tender for privatization of the MTRZ was conceived did not even predict the possibility that we as buyers can keep anything from the assets, so actually in the total estimated value Mank has made us a concession by leaving about 40% of the technical equipment of the Arsenal to the state of Montenegro – said for “Vijesti” the Mayor of Tivat and the member of the tender commission Dragan Kankaras, reminding that the initiative for leaving out of the assets from the arrangement of the sales of the Arsenal to Mank, came from Tivat in an already progressed stadium of negotiations “because of which the 40% of the equipment is a positive shift”.
Kankaras here should be really trusted on his words – the way in which Government in the fall last year outlined the tender for privatization of the MTRZ was actually outlined for Mank and his business idea which in May 2005 he displayed at the meeting with the former Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. So, in the end the Canadian’s off shore firm “PM Securities” was the only one which has sent the offer on the tender which explicitly foresaw the turning of the Tivat ship building industry into a marine. “PM Securities” which did not have anyone to compete with, was strengthen by the Mank’s undisputable reputation in the west business world. With the promise of the investments worthy of hundreds of millions of euros, after that, in negotiations, he was practically the one who dictated the conditions to the seller, the Government, which wanted to bring such a strong and renowned investor from the west.
– I don’t have a comment. Mank according to tender could have bought literally everything in the Arsenal except us, the employees, and he did not have to disown himself of all those 1.500 nomenclature items, that is, all those 40% of the assets which remained in the possession of our enterprise, and to the Government as a seller. Why he has chosen what he has chosen I really don’t know – said for “Vijesti” the president of the union of the Arsenal, Dragan Miljanic. The union, else, during the sales of the Arsenal asked from the Government not the accept the price bellow 80 millions of euros, in which they were unanimously supported by the Municipal Parliament Tivat, but the Tender commission whose chairman was the former minister of interior arrangement, Boro Vucinic, in the end of negotiations did not even come close to this figure.
The fact that for 3, 26 millions of euros Mank got the real estates and 5, 5 millions of equipment of the Arsenal, is not the only controversy of this business. Hurrying to conclude this business, Government has defined that it won’t sell to the Canadians the land on which Arsenal lies, but instead they will give it under the lease with the concession of three times thirty years even though there is no any legal base for that. The law which is in effect, and which is concerned with the sea welfare of Montenegro, namely, does not know at all the term concession, and the entire complex of the Arsenal, otherwise, lies in the zone of the sea welfare. One of the obligations which Government has to fulfill until the closure of the signed contract with Mank in the spring next year is to record themselves, that is the state of Montenegro, in the real estate cadastre. That actually means that the Government during the several month negotiations and conclusion of the contracts about the privatization of Arsenal, was not at all formally legal the owner of the Tivat military ship building industry.