Holdings as an example of pro-forma attitude to enterprises’ mergers
Belarusian enterprises are actively merging into holdings. However, as a rule, these processes are not based on a business plan or aiming to achieve the maximum effect, rather they are declarative by nature and meant to fulfill authorities’ administrative tasks.
On November 8th, 2012 a meeting about the merger of the country’s diary processing enterprises was held.
In 2012, ‘holding business model’ started forming in Belarus. A number of holdings in various industries have been created. New enterprises joined the newly created holdings. In August 2012, there were 45 holdings in Belarus, which included 297 companies. Before the end of 2012, 16 more holdings are planned to be created in various industries. In addition, there are international merger projects, in particular, “Rosbelavto” holding.
The meeting demonstrated that mergers are often rooted in the local authorities’ desire to fulfill administrative orders pro-forma. Merger projects’ economy is not being calculated: there are no business plans; efficient enterprises are merged with ineffective, thus putting off distressed companies to those which have proven their efficiency with financial results.
One of the problems with holdings’ creation is de-facto repetition of the five-year plans practices in holdings. Enterprises, from being mobile structures, capable of quick response to market changes, become colossal structures with bureaucratized administrative core, often acting not because of the economic feasibility, but following orders and plans developed by the authorities.
Thus, the state, by artificially enlarging its assets into holdings, loses the basic economic sense for the mergers, i.e. the enterprises’ efficiency. Businesses merge in holdings, not because it creates a synergy effect and boosts development of companies inside a holding, but solely for the formal consolidation purpose and the potential subsequent sale as one. It would be a lot more effective to allow businesses to decide when and how to merge, and on what principles.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.