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Monday 20.11.2017 | Name days: Anda, Andīna
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80% of waste in Riga is managed by two companies

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAfter the departure of Finnish investors from Latvia, more than 80% of waste in Riga will be managed by two companies, which happen to be financially linked to each other. Furthermore, there are people working in those companies who had been partners of Andris Skele’s family at one point or another. According to official information, Skele’s relative had left this business last month.

The Finnish business and shares from Skele’s relatives were bought by Guntars Kokorevics, who became the only owner of the now dominant company on this market – L&T. The total value of the transaction is kept secret, but it definitely exceeds EUR 10 million, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

‘It was more important to by L&T, not compete with them. L&T does not have a whole lot of customers. You cannot take over the whole of Darzciema Street from them. You made your new route and new costs, but profits are low there,’ – Kokorevics explains the reasons for buying L&T.

In order to pay L&T owners in Finland, Kokorevics had to sell his Vides pakalpojumu grupa. It was bought by Zaļā josta, which is already part of the waste management business.

After the deal there were only two operators left – L&T and VPG. However, the link between owners of the two companies raises questions about financial ties between the two companies. Zaļā josta acquired the rights for VPG by paying only a small portion of the purchase amount. This is why the properties of VPG are pledged in favour of Bioinvest company owned by Kokorevics. This is further shown by information in the Commercial Loans Register.

Workers and owners of the two companies are also linked. For example, one of the owners of Zaļā josta, Janis Vilbergs, was a member of VPG Council not too long ago. Finanšu restrukturizācijas risinājumi belonged to Skele’s family until 2008. FRR Board member Ilmars Vekters is also a member of management Boards in other companies related to Skele.

As part of the last transaction, Kokorevics acquired the remaining 10% from Skele’s relatives and partners. Kokorevics claims no one is trying to create a unified company. He adds L&T and VPG will be two separate companies. ‘It is too soon to discuss the development of the market,’ – says the owner of L&T.

There are two reasons why Finnish investors decided to leave Latvia: focus on profitable development of the market in Finland and the plans of Riga’s municipal government on waste utilization, which could potentially undermine the position of L&T on the market.

Riga plans to reduce the range of waste management operators by dividing three parts of the city among four operators.

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