Merko Makes Offer on Järvevana Shares ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

AS Riverito, the company behind construction giant Merko, said they have made an offer for all remaining shares of AS Järvevana.

The company already owns 71.99 percent of Järvevana, a publicly listed construction company, and has offered 0.84 euros a share for the remaining 4,957,314 shares.

Järvevana AS was part of the Merko group but was divorced from the company after a land swap scandal, which was heard by the Supreme Court in June.

Merko was fined nearly 800,000 euros after the scheme, which involving People's Union leader and former Environment Minister Villu Reiljan, Center Party MP Ester Tuikso, businessman Toomas Annus, ex-director of the Land Board, and four other businessmen.

The officials received kickbacks in exchange for, among other acts, giving businessmen inside information on which cheap rural properties under nature conservation restrictions could be traded for higher value, developable, state-owned land.

The Supreme Court upheld the convictions, but of the sentences were suspended and offset by time served in pretrial investigations. Tuiksoo, however, had to resign from parliament and had to quit the party, although she had appealed her conviction of the European Court of Human Rights.

Merko has been involved in many high-profile projects in Estonia the last couple of years, including the Hilton Hotel under construction in Tallinn, the Iru waste-to-energy unit, the installation of the land part of the Estlink 2 cable, and the construction of a power substation in Aruküla.

It had previously been involved with the infrastructure improvements at the Ämari air base, and the construction of the Solaris mall in Tallinn, the Viru prison, and the Kumu national art museum. It also has operations in Latvia and Lithuania.

Both companies are noted on the NASDAQ OMX Baltic with Järvevana's share price currently at 0.751 euros, having risen 25 percent since the beginning of the year.

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