Serbia Extends Deadline Again in Sale of Smederevo Steelworks

Serbia put off until Sept. 10 the deadline for binding offers for Zelezara Smederevo d.o.o., the country’s sole steel plant, citing requests from potential buyers.

The second extension in two months is a result of “interest from participants in the tender who need more time” before deciding on a bid, government spokesman Danijel Apostolovic said in a phone interview. The previous deadline was today for the plant that Serbia bought back from U.S. Steel Corp. (X) for $1 in January.

He declined to name the possible buyers. The government said in April these include Ukraine’s Donetskstal-Metallurgical Plant, Russia’s Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company Co OJSC and Luxembourg-based United Group SA comprising Pilsen Steel Sro and Baummash OJSC.

Sale of the unprofitable plant in Smederevo is a priority for Serbia as it faces decline in foreign direct investments and needs to improve its finances amid a widening budget deficit and a slowing economy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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