Galenika: Serbian government fails to reach a deal

Serbia’s Ministry of Economy said on Wednesday it had failed to reach a deal with a consortium of British and Russian firms on the sale of 25 percent of indebted drugmaker Galenika.

The sale is part of Serbia’s efforts to sell, shut or slim down unprofitable state firms under a 1.2 billion euro loan deal with the International Monetary Fund. The British – Russian consortium of companies Frontier and Petrovax is the only bidder to have submitted a valid offer for strategic partnership with one of the biggest Serbian pharmaceutical companies.

In April, the government invited strategic partners to invest at least 7 million euros ($7.5 million) in Galenika, which operates drug manufacturing plants and has debts of $220 million.

The consortium did not offer any solution for Galenika’s debt to commercial banks, the economy ministry said in a statement, adding that it would try to find another way to privatise the company as soon as possible.

Galenika owes $50 million to commercial banks and the rest of its debt is with the state. A proposed $8.7 million sale of the Serbian pharmaceutical company to Valeant failed in June 2013.

(Reuters, 08.02.2017)

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