Rodipet empire buried under the very eyes of AVAS, media

The State Assets Resolution Authority (AVAS) did nothing to check what happened after the privatisation of the press distribution company Rodipet. The state company has been robbed and there are no culprits, reads the ‘Romania Libera’ newspaper.

Privatised at the end of 2003, mainly because of its poor financial situation, Rodipet is still taking its toll on the country’s coffers. In the six years that passed since he purchased the firm, Arab businessman Hassan Awdi robbed its assets, leaving it with just a few thousands of square meters of land. Rodipet’s only asset now is the land occupied by the 1,400 newsstands it owns.

The real surprise here is the lack of reaction displayed by AVAS for this authentic robbery. The state institution did nothing to check the buyer, Rodipet has run bankrupt and the state loses EUR 50 M. The contract signed by former AVAS president Ovidiu Musetescu only provided for some penalties if the investor sold the company’s assets. The only situation when the sale contract could be annulled was if the buyer – Magnar System Com Otopeni firm controlled by Hassan Awdi – laid off Rodipet employees. Moreover, apart from the very small price charged for Rodipet (just EUR 6 M), the Romanian state granted Magnar System some very enticing fiscal incentives. Rodipet’s debts to the state budget, worth RON 17 M, were converted into shares that initially went to AVAS, which later sold them to Magnar System against – no more, no less than – 1 pc of their value. Through this trick, the company controlled by Awdi was outright exempted from 99 pc of the debt.

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