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Bosnia invites offers for largest aluminum smelter in Balkans

Bosnia invited offers for an 88% stake in its sole aluminum smelter, Aluminij Mostar, at a starting price of €76.8 mln ($101 mln).

The government wants to attract investors with international experience in aluminum processing like Alcoa, Alcan Inc., Norway's Norsk Hydro and Swiss-based metals trader Glencore International AG, said Enes Ganic, chairman of the bidding commission. Offers are accepted until April 23, he said. The Aluminij Mostar stake is owned by Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation and smaller shareholders. The remaining 12% is owned by Croatia's TLM Company, Ganic said. Prospective buyers must maintain annual output of some 121,000 tons of metal, keep all 950 employees and pay for the aluminum smelter in cash. The plant, the single largest aluminum smelter in the Balkans, exported products worth €240 million in 2006. Under provisions of the 1995 Dayton peace accord that ended war, Bosnia is divided into a Serb entity, or Republika Srpska, and a Bosnian federation comprised of Muslim and Croatian parts of the country. (Bloomberg)