Serbia gives Galenika sale another month

BELGRADE, April 30 Tue Apr 30, 2013 7:44am EDT

BELGRADE, April 30 (Reuters) - Serbia on Tuesday extended for another month a deadline for bids for its indebted state-run drugmaker Galenika Pharmaceuticals, with the U.S.-based unit of Canada's Valeant Pharmaceuticals International so far the only potential partner.

The finance ministry said the new deadline was 4 p.m. (1400 GMT) on May 31, the third extension since offers were first invited on Jan. 14.

With a workforce of 2,700, the Belgrade-based Galenika has accumulated debt of about 170 million euros ($223 million), and needs about 50 million euros in additional capital in 2013.

Its sale is part of an effort by the government to offload a number of bloated, loss-making state enterprises to ease the burden on its budget.

Earlier in April, the finance ministry said the U.S.-based unit of Valeant was the only potential partner so far, having met all the conditions of the tender.