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Israeli-Chinese tie-up submits offer for Bosnia's ailing Aluminij - report

Author Iskra Pavlova
Israeli-Chinese tie-up submits offer for Bosnia's ailing Aluminij - report Photo: All Rights Reserved

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), October 18 (SeeNews) - An unnamed Israeli-Chinese consortium has submitted a bid for taking over Bosnia's struggling aluminium plant Aluminij, which halted production in the summer, local media reported on Friday.

The investor has presented its offer at a meeting hosted by the government of Bosnia's Federation on Thursday, and the government has asked for several days to analyse the proposal, news daily Dnevni List reported, quoting Aluminij's PR officer Miljenko Buhac as telling state news agency Fena.

The next meeting with the interested investor should take place in ten days, Buhac added.

He added that Aluminij was not authorised to reveal the financial and other details of the offer, but said it contains a logical and expert set of measures and activities that would lead to restarting Aluminij. The bid also proposes several options for the smelter's future electricity supply, which the investor considers viable.

Buhac also said that representatives of Dubai's Waqt Traded LLC held talks with Aluminij's management on October 10 and are expected to submit a proposal on their plans for the future of the Bosnian company in seven to ten days.

According to him, a third investor from a European country has also declared its interest in Aluminij, raising the hopes for a possible recovery of the former giant.

According to earlier media reports, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and UK-headquartered industrial and metals group Liberty House are interested in investing in the Mostar-based aluminium producer.

Aluminij shut down operations on July 10 after its power supply was cut off due to swelling unpaid bills. Following the shutdown, the government of Bosnia's Federation entity decided that Aluminij should continue to operate and come up with a rescue plan by the end of 2019.

In July, prior to Aluminij's shutdown, British-Swiss company Glencore terminated its talks with the Federation government for taking over the aluminium smelter after failing to agree on the future electricity price.

The Federation government controls 44% of Aluminij, followed by the government of neighbouring Croatia with 12%, with the remainder held by smaller shareholders.

The Federation is one of two autonomous entities forming Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is the Serb Republic.