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Serbia May Offer Minority Stake in Drug Maker Galenika to EBRD

Serbia, which is restructuring state-owned drugmaker Galenika AD and may offer a stake to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The Zemun, Serbia-based company, whose 2011 loss widened to 20 million euros ($26 million), may return to profitability this year or next after the “restructuring that is both financial and operational,” and includes efforts to collect 90 million euros owed by drug wholesalers Velefarm AD and BG Farm, General Manager Zivomir Novakovic said in a phone interview today.

A minority stake may be offered to the London-based EBRD or another international financial organization after the overhaul as the government will probably want to keep a controlling stake in the company, Novakovic said.

The government said last week it will no longer back liquidity loans for its unprofitable companies. Earlier this year, Galenika received guarantees to borrow 70 million euros ($91 million) to service debt and pay suppliers.

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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