Serbia Expects to Find Partner for Steel Plant Before Year End

Serbia will probably find a partner by the year end for Zelezara Smederevo d.o.o., the country’s sole steel mill, Finance and Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic told reporters in Belgrade today.

Serbia is not satisfied with the companies that showed interest in Zelezara Smederevo in a sales tender which expires next month, he said.

“None of those that registered to take part in the tender is a serious company, but we are getting calls from much more serious strategic partners,” Dinkic said. “I expect that we’ll find a partner for the steelworks by the end of the year,” possibly through direct negotiations.

Serbia bought back Zelezara from U.S. Steel Corp. (X) earlier this year for a token amount as international investors gave up on the unprofitable plant. The government has halted both furnaces at Zelezara to reduce losses.

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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