On June 6, 2017, the company “Inercom Investments” of Ginka Varbakova, which is the sole owner of the capital of “Inercom Group”, had decided to officially sell 50% of the shares to the fund “Patronus Third” SICAV. Partners in Patronus are Czech billionaire Zdenek Zemek and former Czech Environment Minister Pavel Drobil, according to Bulgarian 24 Chassa (24 Hours) daily.

Thus, Verbakova has remained the owner of 25,000 shares from a total of 50,000. On August 3, 2017, “Inercom Investments” transferred another 13,000 shares to the company “Ferromet”, owned by Zdenek Zemek. Therefore, the control of “Inercom Group” ended entirely into the hands of the Czechs, while Ginka Varbakova was left with 12,000 shares. Czech lady Pavlina Filipi became member of the Board of Directors of “Inercom Group”. But all this lasted less than a month.

On August 24, 2017, “Patronus Third” sold back 38,000 “Inercom Group” shares to “Inercom Investments” and Ginka Varbakova became again the sole owner of the company’s capital. In this short period, obviously, there had been also a transfer of shares from “Ferromet” to “Patronus Third”. Accordingly, Pavlina Filipi left the Board of Directors of Inercom Group.

It is remarkable that only two days earlier, on August 22, 2017, “Patronus Third” SICAV acquired 51% of the shares of the company “Global Energy Distribution” from Thermal Power Plant (TPP) Bobovdol, associated with Bulgarian energy mogul Hristo Kovachki. Pavlina Filipi became then Patronus’ representative on the Board of Directors.

Thus, at least formally, for two same days, Zdenek Zemek and Pavel Drobil had positions, both, in Varbakova’s company and in the company of Kovachki. Similarly, neither “Inercom Group” nor “Global Energy Distribution” are direct candidates to buy CEZ Bulgaria, but their parent companies are participating in the auction.

Ginka Varbakova’s relationship with Czech metallurgy magnate Zdenek Zemek dates back to earlier times because Zemek’s companies had funded Varbakova’s photovoltaic parks. Nothing has been known about Zemek’s partnership with Kovachki so far.

Also, the connection between Ginka Varbakova and Hristo Kovachki until now was somewhat of an unproven speculation, as Bulgarian Capital daily noted, recalling the fact that Zdenek Zemek’s sons have been sentenced for illegal photovoltaic parks.

The new document trail confirms the intentions of the Czech businessmen to bid for the purchase of CEZ Bulgaria’s assets. But why the Czechs have changed their bet from “winning horse” Ginka Varbakova to loser Hristo Kovachki remains a mystery, one of the many surrounding this deal.

Earlier investigations by Bivol established that in the past Ginka Varbakova and her husband Slavcho Varbakov had business relations with figures from the criminal group SIC and with Vassil “The Skull” Bozhkov. They also have a very controversial credit history as their properties had been foreclosed due to debts to banks and the National Revenue Agency (NRA).


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