Belarusian businessman completes takeover of BKT

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Belarusian businessman completes takeover of BKT

All the necessary permits have been obtained. Udovickij told BNS when he planned to complete the deal or whether he had already completed it, and he did not comment on the details of the transaction.

The deal was cleared in September by the Lithuanian Competition Council, but also by the Commission for Coordination of Protection of Objects of Importance to Ensuring National Security. The latter considered Udovickij's application to acquire a 30 percent stake in BKT as early as August 2021.

The government press office told BNS that no obstacles to the transaction have been identified in accordance with the requirements of the Law on the Protection of Objects of Importance to Ensuring National Security.

BKT has yet to submit information on the change of shareholders to the Lithuanian Center of Registers. There are no new records on that in the Swiss and Latvian registers.

Udovickij owns 5 percent of BKT, and also 65 percent indirectly through Swiss company Hasenberg, as reported earlier in the day. 100 percent of the latter belongs to Latvia's Fortis Asset Management, owned by Udovickij.

When approached by BNS, Belaruskali refused to say whether the transaction had been completed. In the spring of 2013, the Belarusian company bought a 30 percent stake in BKT for 30 million US dollars.

In recent years, BKT used to handle around 11 million tons of Belaruskali products and suspended its operations in February after the EU and the US imposed their sanctions, and the Lithuanian government told Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai Lithuanian Railways, LTG, the country's state-owned railway company, to remove its contract with Belaruskali as it was deemed a threat to the country's national security.

The company announced at the end of May that all 142 employees of BKT's quays would be sacked by the end of May, as the quays have been empty since February 10, and the quays have been empty since February 10. According to the Lithuanian social insurance fund SoDra, the company employs 40 people.

Udovickij told BNS that he expects to handle some 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain by the fall of 2023 after buying Belaruskali's shares in BKT. In his words, BKT offered Ukraine 1 million tons of grain per month.

Udovickij says Ukrainian grain could only be shipped through Lithuania if transit through Belarus is resumed.

The businessman told BNS that large volumes of Ukrainian grain can only be transported to Lithuania after the resumption of transit through Belarus.

He also confirmed that the BKT terminal is currently handling some types of cargo.

BKT claims that its terminal is the largest in the Baltic region and has the capacity to handle up to 16 million tons of bulk cargo per year. In the last year, the terminal handled 11.5 million tons of bulk fertilizers, up 15 percent from 2020.

The terminal's revenue rose by 95 million euros last year, up 5 percent from 2020, and it made a profit of 16.1 million euros, up 1.2 percent. BKT also paid 4.7 million euros in dividends for 2021.