Atanas Bobokov Resigns as CEO to Monbat Group Following Illegal Waste Import Charge

NW 16:03:31 03-06-2020

Atanas Bobokov Resigns
as CEO to Monbat Group
Following Illegal Waste Import Charge

Sofia, June 3 (BTA) - Atanas Bobokov resigned from his position of CEO to Monbat Group, the Bulgarian Stock Exchange said on Wednesday.

''In order to preserve the stability of the company I represent, Monbat Group, and the trust of investors built over the years, I hereby declare that I am resigning from my position of CEO to the Monbat Group company," Bobokov writes.

A few days ago, the prosecution charged him and his brother Plamen Bobokov with participating in the illegal import and export of hazardous waste. A total of 10 people have been charged, including Deputy Environment Minister Krassimir Zhivkov. Atanas Bobokov, chairman of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Monbat, was remanded in custody, while Plamen Bobokov was released on 1 million leva bail.

On the first day of the operation last week, Monbat Group explicitly stated that they do not have waste processing facilities and that they import recycled raw materials for the production of batteries from their plant in Italy. The company's activity is also highly regulated and monitored by environmental authorities.

However, the prosecution claims that there is evidence that the Bobokov brothers and some of the other defendants controlled fictitious companies with which they imported waste without having the capacity to process it.

The actions of the prosecution service led to a 20 per cent decline in the company's shares. Thus, the market capitalization of the company, which is one of the leaders in revenue in Bulgaria, decreased from 160.7 million to 130.3 million leva.

Compared to the peak of 6.50 leva per share reached on February 5, the company has lost 48 per cent of its market capitalization. The first decline came in March due to the pandemic. The company then requested a temporary suspension of shares trading, but the Bulgarian Stock Exchange refused. Over the same period, the Sofix index lost 19 per cent of its value. NV/DT/DT/