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Hellenic Sugar Industry calls off sale of factories in Serbia - Serbia Business

Hellenic Sugar Industry calls off sale of factories in Serbia

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Greek company Hellenic Sugar Industry has decided to call off the sale of its two factories in Serbia after the bids received were deemed unacceptable, local media reported on Wednesday.

The bids submitted by Austrian food group Agrana and a consortium of France’s Cristal Union and Croatia’s Viro Tvornica for the factories located in Crvenka and Zabalj in an auction launched by Hellenic in January have been declared too low, news portal Dnevnik reported.

Agrana offered between 50 and 51 million euro ($58.1-59.3 million), while Cristal Union offered to pay only 25 million euro for the sugar factories valued by Hellenic at some 85 million euro, Dnevnik noted, quoting the company’s media representative Christos Alexopoulos.

“We will not be issuing another public invitation to collect offers from interested investors, but now plan to improve sugar production,” Alexopoulos said.

In May, Antonios Xatzidiamantis, president of Hellenic Sugar Industry, said nine investors from Western Europe and Serbia had qualified for the final stage of the tender and all of them were expressing strong interest in the purchase of the sugar mills.

In July, however, only three bidders remained – Agrana, Cristal Union and Viro, and Serbian vertically integrated conglomerate MK Group.

According to Alexopoulos, MK Group had lodged its bid in conjunction with Agrana.

Hellenic Sugar Industry owns 92.6% and 87.5% of the capital of the companies operating the two factories, respectively.