Following an official request by the Chinese government, representatives of several Chinese copper producers have visited the copper mines in Bor managed by RTB Bor.
Although several Chinese executives have visited the mines, it is still a secret which one of them is actually interested in acquiring a share in the Smelting and Mining Basin Bor (RTB Bor). The media have been speculating that that could be the biggest Chinese state-owned copper company, Jiangxi Copper Corporation.
The Chinese have arrived to Bor together with their partners from the Chinese privately-run investment and management agency. They met with the CEO of RTB Bor, Blagoje Spasovski.
“Our country would love to cooperate with RTB Bor which is why we are here”, said a mining investments director of the Chinese company which name is being kept top secret.
Earlier, the Chinese Ambassador to Serbia, Li Manchang had also announced that two Chinese companies would visit RTB Bor in late July. One of the companies is from the province of Hunan and owns a gold mine, he noted. The daily Vecernje Novosti speculated that the Ambassador may refer to Hunan Gold Corporation, which is one of the largest in the sector. The media recalled that China Power Engineering Consulting Group Corporation was also rumored to be eyeing the indebted company.
RTB Bor is among the strategic firms whose protection from creditors’ claims expired at end-May 2016. A local court approved a reorganization plan (UPPR) in Jul 2016 that prevented the bankruptcy of the company. The UPPR, that covers the parent company and the three subsidiaries, foresees restructuring of EUR 1.2bn debt so that 90% of the debt will be written off, while the company shall start repaying the remainder after one-year grace period. The plan also foresees reduction of the number of employees by 1,500 over a five-year period starting from 2017.
At end of December 2016, RTB Bor published a tender for the selection of professional management in accordance with the obligations set out in the reorganization plan. The management should run the company until a strategic investor is found.
(Vecernje Novosti, Financial Observer, 24.06.2017)
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