Esmark Steel Group interested in Zelezara Smederevo

BELGRADE – The steel company Zelezara Smederevo could get a strategic partner soon and revive its production, since the US based Esmark Steel Group is interested in a partnership, but the Serbian government will have the last say.

Zelezara Smederevo financial director Bojan Bojkovic told Tanjug Esmark Steel Group was interested in a partnership and that its officials were already gathering data about the Serbian company.

The data will be used for a due diligence review.

Everything will depend on the Serbian government, who will make decisions and conduct negotiations on a potential sale or lease, Bojkovic stated.

Some media in Belgrade reported earlier that Esmark Steel Group, a subsidiary of the Esmark corporation from Chicago, was the most likely partner of Zelezara Smederevo and that the model of cooperation with the government, as the owner, would be known by the end of the month.

The Serbian government formed on June 8 a working group for the talks with potential partners of Zelezara Smederevo. The group is headed by Minister of Economy Dusan Vujovic.

Zelezara Smederevo was sold to US Steel in March 2003 for USD 23 million and was a large exporter, 13 percent of total export, until early 2012.

The government bought the company back from US Steel in January 2012 for USD 1.