BELGRADE Oct 8 Serbia invited bids for its sole
steel mill on Monday in a renewed attempt to sell the
loss-making company, almost a year since previous owner U.S.
Steel abandoned it to cut losses.
The Serbian finance ministry set Oct. 26 as the deadline for
bidders which must be from the iron, steel or mining sectors,
with assets of at least $2.5 billion and 2011 revenue of $2
The Serbian government bought the loss-making plant in the
central city of Smederevo from U.S. Steel for a nominal $1 to
avert the potential loss of 5,500 jobs and started financing it
from the budget.
Previous attempts to sell the company this year failed due
to lack of interest. Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said
last month Serbia was close to a deal with an unidentified
The new tender offer requires a prospective buyer to draw up
a plan to restart Zelezara Smederevo's two idled furnaces and
invest at least $50 million over four years.
Finding a buyer for the plant is crucial for Serbia which is
sliding into recession while seeking to cut its budget deficit
of around 6.2 percent of GDP.