Following a public call for submission of bids for the acquisition of a share in PKB, the Serbian government has received eight letters of interest from prospective bidders.
They are: Al Dahra from the United Arab Emirates, MK Group from Serbia, the Matijevic Meat Industry from Serbia, an entrepreneur from the Vojvodinian village of Kovin, two British companies, one from China, and one from Singapore.
The bidders from Great Britain, China and Singapore asked to remain anonymous for now. The government is satisfied with the interest shown for the acquisition of PKB and is announcing a sales call in the next month and a half.
“Most of the bidders decided to utilize everything that is at disposal to them in line with the Serbian regulation – from acquiring assets and capital to forging a strategic partnership. Based on their interest, we are going to choose the appropriate privatization format. We expect to launch the proper privatization call in the next month or month and a half, and PKB will probably have a new owner by the year-end”, Economy Minister Goran Knezevic says.
“We stated that we would agree to any model of privatization, i.e. whatever the state authorities decide. Of course, the ideal scenario would be to become a 100% owner of the company, but if the state has enough interest to remain a shareholder in the company, we will respect that decision”, Director of MK Group, Jovan Purar says.
The government is expected to realistically assess the value of PKB. To remind, the last attempt at selling the company at the price of 154 million EUR had failed.
“On paper, PKB is worth a lot, but the company never actually recorded profit. Currently, it owes 80 million EUR, and if this situation continues, it would remain a burden on the state”, Petar Matijevic, the owner of the eponymous meat company, says.
The government expects the future owner to continue with the livestock breeding, and will not allow the land owned by PKB to be transformed into construction plots. PKB owns over 20,000 hectares of arable land, over 26,000 heads of cattle, agricultural machinery and equipment, greenhouses and 1,700 employees.
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