Serbia to sell Zastava car maker


Serbia’s state-run privatization authority announced Thursday it was inviting prospective buyers to review documentation about the sale of the country’s sole carmaker, Zastava Automobili.

In a statement, Serbia’s Privatization Agency said that interested parties involved in car production „whether fully-assembled or manufacturing components” for at least three years, with 2006 revenues of at least €500 million or investors registered for no less than three years and with managed funds of at least €2 billion (about $2.9 billion), will be allowed to review the documentation about the sale.

Zastava, based in Kragujevac, some 70 kilometers southwest of Belgrade, is currently assembling the Fiat Punto under a 2005 license, and is due to start assembling General Motors’ Opel models in 2008. The factory was brought to a virtual standstill in the 1990 amid the Balkan wars and the international isolation of the then Yugoslavia, comprising Serbia and Montenegro. It was also damaged during the 11-week NATO bombing during the 1999 Kosovo war.

Zastava will terminate the production of its own Yugo trademark car in 2010, after more than three decades. In 2006, it produced 10,250 passenger vehicles. About 87% of the Zastava Group shares that belong to the company and the 11.8 % owned by the government’s Development Fund will be offered for sale. The tender offer together with the starting price will be announced in April 2008. In another statement the agency announced the sale of Zastava Specijalna Vozila or Special Vehicles factory, separately from the rest of the Zastava Group, at a starting price of €7.9 million (about $11.5 million). The factory is based in the northern city of Sombor and it produces freight and utility vehicles. (balkaninsight)


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