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No suitors for once mighty Yugoslav news agency Tanjug
August 13, 2015 / 4:10 PM / 2 years ago

No suitors for once mighty Yugoslav news agency Tanjug

BELGRADE, Aug 13 (Reuters) - The sale of Serbia’s 72-year-old Tanjug news agency, the once-mighty mouthpiece of socialist Yugoslavia, collapsed on Thursday after failing to attract any suitors.

Tanjug (short for Telegraphic Agency of the New Yugoslavia), was among 38 state-owned media outlets put up for sale at a starting price of 761,000 euros ($847,678) in June under a campaign to end state ownership in the sector.

But Serbia’s privatisation agency said it had failed to receive any expressions of interest by the deadline and that the sale “has been declared unsuccessful”. It was unclear whether a new sale may be launched.

Tanjug employs around 200 people, vastly down on its Yugoslav heyday when it boasted a network of correspondents around the world. In 2014, Tanjug’s pre-tax profit was 680,000 dinars ($6,320).

Tanjug and other media outlets are among hundreds of Serbian state assets the government wants to offload to reduce its footprint on the economy and further Serbia’s bid to join the European Union.

Tanjug was formed in 1943 by Yugoslav Communist partisans, passing to Serbia with the break-up of federal Yugoslavia in the 1990s. ($1 = 0.8977 euros) ($1 = 107.5800 Serbian dinars) ($1 = 107.5800 Serbian dinars) (Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Writing by Matt Robinson; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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