Four bid for assets of Montenegro's bankrupt aluminium producer

Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:38am EST

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* Two Montenegrin companies and two foreign companies bid

* Bankruptcy management will have 8 days to decide on bids

By Petar Komnenic

PODGORICA, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Four companies have placed bids to buy various assets of Montenegro's bankrupt KAP aluminium plant, a court said on Friday, as the Balkan country tries to offload the vital but heavily-indebted exporter.

Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica's debts of 380 million euros amount to some 10 percent of the economic output of tiny Montenegro.

Bankrupcty management officials at KAP set the total value of its assets and land up for sale at 54.5 million euros.

London-based Getsales Ltd offered 5,100 euros for KAP's main production facilities outside the capital Podgorica and pledged to invest 700 million euros.

Montenegrin Uniprom offered 28.5 million euros for a major part of KAP assets. A second local company, Politropus Alternative, offered 450,000 euros for a smaller part.

Serbia's Alemani Trade offered 178,000 euros for 22 factory wagons.

The bids were opened in the Commercial Court which in October declared KAP bankrupt.

The management will have eight days to decide on the offers.

In 2012, KAP accounted for 30 percent of Montenegro's exports but its business and about 1,000 jobs were kept afloat by big state subsidies and loans that it could not repay.

With Montenegro seeking membership of the European Union, where such direct subsidies are not allowed, the government is trying to cut off financial aid to loss-making companies.

KAP's biggest creditor is the state, accounting for 148 million euros of its debt. The government has also issued guarantees for a 132 million euro loan. (Reporting by Petar Komnenic; Writing by Ivana Sekularac, editing by David Evans)

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