Tender for privatization of PKB to be launched in August

Poljoprivredna Korporacija Beograd (PKB) will be privatized in line with the format used in selling a part of assets, owned by the Republic of Serbia and the Equity Fund, in PKB’s subsidiaries Eko-lab and PKB Agroekonomik – the Serbian Ministry of Economy announces.

The public call is expected to be launched in August 2018.

As the relevant decree by the Government of Serbia states, the privatization of PKB Korporacija AD Padinska Skela and its subsidiaries Veterinarska Stanica PKB d.o.o. Padinska Skela, Eko-lab d.o.o. Padinska Skela and PKB Agroekonomik d.o.o. Padinska Skela will be carried out through public bidding process.

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As specified by the Ministry of Economy, the public bidding will be carried out in one go, and that the following will be put up for auction – part of agricultural land and a part of the land meant for agricultural production, the buildings owned by PKB Korporacija, the equipment, the spare part inventory, the cattle herds and the stake that PKB Korporacija has in its subsidiaries, as well as the company’s capital owned by the Republic of Serbia.

The Ministry of Economy is preparing for the launch of the public call for submission of bids for the segment of PKB assets and capital in line with the Government of Serbia decree.

The representatives of trade unions and the state authorities have had several meetings on the topic of privatization since the beginning of the year. They discussed the so-called social programme according to which 450 employees would be offered remuneration per year of their employment with PKB, and the possibility of continuing to work in PKB under the new owner. PKB and its subsidiaries have about 1,700 employees.

According to unofficial information, the company has about 17,000 hectares of agricultural lands, livestock, buildings, farms and machinery that will be offered for sale. The representatives of trade unions say they were informed that 4,500 hectares of construction land would not be put up for sale, as it will remain the property of PKB. The Ministry of Economy has not yet confirmed this information.

The state, which has been the formal owner of the PKB since September 2016, when the City of Belgrade conceded 99 percent of shares to the state, has been trying to find the most acceptable privatization model for this strategically important company, which heavily in debt. At the end of 2017, PKB’s debt amounted to about 80 million euro.

In December 2015, the former Privatization Agency launched a public call for the sale of PKB at the initial price of 154 million euro, but nobody submitted a bid. After that, the sale was suspended and a new evaluation of capital was carried out.

At the beginning of last year, the following companies expressed their interest in privatizing PKB – Matijevic Meat Industry, MK Group, and Al Dahra from the United Arab Emirates. But their offers were non-binding because the Ministry of Economy did not announce a public tender for the privatization of the PKB at that time.

(Politika, 30.07.2018)



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