TIRANA (Albania), July 24 (SeeNews) – Albanian investment group Balfin said it has acquired a 90% stake in Kosovo’s Newco Ferronikeli metallurgical complex and will control the shares through its London-based subsidiary NKL Limited.
Newco Ferronikeli has been affected by low nickel prices in the last few years and has halted operations during the last four months, Balfin said in a statement late on Monday.
The 90% stake in Ferronikeli was sold by Dutch-based international mining and metals company Cunico Resources, a Balfin press officer told SeeNews over the phone on Tuesday.
The parties to the deal did not disclose its price.
“Balfin will immediately inject sufficient funds to restart the plant and bring it back to full production in August,” Balfin said in the statement, adding that it has also agreed to repay Newco Ferronikeli's accumulated debts and pay outstanding salaries.
The nickel production plant employs some 800 people and is responsible for securing at least an additional 1500 jobs related to supplying the plant with raw materials and providing logistics services in both Kosovo and Albania, according to the statement.
Newco Ferronikeli comprises a nickel production plant as well as potentially rich mineral deposits beneath the surrounding landscape in Drenas, central Kosovo. The company has an ISO 14001:2004 environmental management systems certificate valid until October 3, 2018.
Cunico Resources acquired the nickel production complex in a privatisation deal in 2006, according to information posted on the website of the company.
The Balfin Group owned by Samir Mane engages in real estate, retail, tourism, agriculture, energy, mineral industry, investments, and services through subsidiaries in Albania, Austria, Macedonia, Dubai, Kosovo, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, and the United States.