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Russia's Deripaska bids for Bosnian smelter to expand

Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, owner of the world's third-largest aluminum maker, is bidding to acquire 88% of Bosnia's Aluminij Mostar to expand in eastern Europe.

Deripaska's En+ holding company, which owns OAO Russian Aluminium and two separate aluminum assets in Montenegro, passed a government test for tender participants and will bid for Mostar, said Vadim Bely, a spokesman for Deripaska's Basic Element management company. The tender starting price is €76.8 million ($101 million). The tendered stake is owned by Bosnia's Muslim-Croat federation and smaller shareholders. The remaining 12% is owned by Croatia's TLM Company. 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, Enes Ganic, chairman of the bidding commission, said on March 5. Mostar, the single largest aluminum smelter in the Balkans, produced 121,000 tons of aluminum last year and had sales of €240 million ($315 million). En+ already owns 65.4% of Montenegro's Kombinat Alumjiuma Podgorica aluminum plant and Rudnici Boxita Niksic, a bauxite miner. Bauxite is refined into alumina, a raw material for aluminum production. (Bloomberg)