Serbia calls new tender for strategic partner of Zelezara Smederevo steelworks.

By bne IntelliNews October 9, 2012
Serbia's finance ministry has announced a public call for selecting a strategic partner for the steelworks Zelezara Smederevo, Tanjug news agency reported. The deadline for submitting bids is Oct 26. Candidates must operate in the iron, steel or mining sectors. The tender rules require the bidders to have 2011 total revenues of at least USD 2bn. The rules also require the candidates to have end-2011 total assets of at least USD 2.5bn. The offers must contain a business plan with a four-year investment programme in the minimum amount of USD 50mn. The tender aims to ensure the operation and further development of the steelworks. We remind that economy and finance minister Mladjan Dinkic said recently that the negotiations for the sale of 75% of Zelezara to a large Russian company are going to be wrapped up soon. The remaining 25% will stay in the hands of the Serb government. The unnamed Russian investor has expressed strong interest to acquire the Serbian steel maker and build new capacities. Dinkic believes that production at Zelezara will be restarted by end-2012. Zelezara has a 12% share in Serbia's exports and accounts for 5% of the country's industrial output but its production has been halted since July 10 because the company was unable to cope with the unfavourable global market prices and the lack of raw materials. The government made an attempt to sell the company earlier this year after buying it back from US Steel for a token price of USD 1 at end-January. The tender, however, failed as none of the three interested companies filed an offer within the deadline.

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