Ukraine’s property fund sells seaport for the first time in history

17 January, 06:18 PM
The Ust-Dauna seaport is located in the southern part of the Zhebriyan Bay of the Black Sea and faces the Ochakiv mouth of the Danube River (Photo:prozorro.sale)

The Ust-Dauna seaport is located in the southern part of the Zhebriyan Bay of the Black Sea and faces the Ochakiv mouth of the Danube River (Photo:prozorro.sale)

The State Property Fund of Ukraine (SPFU) has sold the Ust-Danube seaport at auction for UAH 201 million ($5.5 million), the agency reported on Jan. 17.

The starting price increased by more than three times from UAH 60 million ($1.6 million).

The Elixir Ukraine company, owned by Valeriy Vikhrenko, purchased the lot.

According to the fund, eight participants competed for the right to own the seaport.

Vikhrenko is the founder and owner of the WIMEXIM group of companies. Since 2016, Elixir Ukraine has been an official representative of Elixir Zorka (Serbia) and has been engaged in the sale of complex mineral fertilizers in Ukraine.

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The seaport has resumed work since April 1 and has already exported 153,000 tons of grain and 58,300 tons of imported consumer goods with a projected capacity of 4.1 million tons. In fact, today the port is operating at only 5% of its capacity.

“The Ust-Danube seaport was almost forgotten before the full-scale war, but it was one of the first to resume work after the invasion of the Russian army,” SPFU head Rustem Umerov said.

“It has great potential for the development of Ukrainian food exports. But this requires investments that can bring private business.”

Director of the Prozorro.Sales platform Oleksiy Sobolev stressed that this was the first seaport privatized through the electronic auction system. According to him, it is “a landmark event that shows that the state is ready.”

“(There was) more than twice as much competition than average at privatization auctions, and the multiple price growth is confirmation of the readiness of business to compete for such assets,” he said.

The SPFU noted that most investment had gone to other seaports before the full-scale invasion. After privatization, the new owner of the Ust-Danube seaport will be able to send private investments to activate this working port.

The winner has 20 working days after the day of completion of the auction to pay for the lot. The contract on the sale will be signed once the funds are transferred to the state budget.

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