Former owner ruled out of race for steelworks

Take note – story published 9 years ago

High-profile businessman Kirovs Lipmans is one of two potential buyers of bankrupt steelworks Liepajas Metalurgs to be ruled out of the race to buy the firm, business wire reported Thursday.

The other interested party to be rejected was identified only as “a western company” in comments attributed to Metalurgs' insolvency administrator Haralds Velmers.

In recent weeks Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma had talked about six potential investors in the troubled steelworks but at a government meeting on August 19, Velmers said the number had been reduced to four as two of the number had made offers that did not merit further consideration when compared to the other four.

Lipmans, one of the three main shareholders in Metalurgs when it went belly-up, was quoted by expressing dismay about the actions of the administrator.

"I do not see how it can be right that they disregard their own nationals who already have proven themselves in the business world,” Lipmans said, while defending his own track record as one of the owners.

Velmers claimed Lipmans' bid was dropped for the straightforward reason that it was not good enough in that it failed to outline the sources of claimed funding and the manner in which production at Metalurgs would be resumed.

“It was much weaker than the other applicants' offers,” Velmers said, adding that the name of the preferred bidder could be released next week with the money for the company being paid in September and production resuming “in the fall.”

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