Aluminum Tender in Trouble

Photo: CIN

The director of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Agency for Privatization (APF) has called the three bids for the Aluminij d.d. Mostar deeply flawed and unlikely to be approved by government.

Director Enes Ganić called the three remaining bidders ‘brazen’ for asking for too many concessions.

Next Friday, the agency is to submit its report detailing the bids to take over most of BiH’s largest exporter. The three bidders are UK-based EN+ Group, Mytilineos of Greece and a team that includes Swiss-based Glencore, Feal of Široki Brijeg and Dalekovod of Zagreb.

Ganić said that the EN+ Group, the world’s largest aluminum company which includes the Russian giant Rusal, had put some 50-odd conditions on their purchase of the company. One is that state electrical companies sell them electricity at below-market price.

‘They’ve done the same in Montenegro… So, every citizen of Montenegro is financing Rusal’s operations with electricity. We will not allow for this to happen here’ Ganić said.

Rusal declined to comment.

The report will go to the government which will decide a bid winner or it could also throw out all tenders and start the privatization process over.

‘I’m puzzled by their behavior. I don’t know whether the bid will be cancelled, that’s up to the government’ he said.

Ganić said Glencore and its partners have asked for a dismissal of Aluminij’s management, although Tončo Barbarić, chairman of the Board of the Feal Group, disputed that. According to Ganić, Mytilineos of Greece has set 15 conditions. Ganić said that these companies obviously have received crossed signals and are acting as if they were buying a bad company rather than one of the most successful in the country.

‘The agency cannot accept this. We will furnish the government with the full report and it should make its decision’ said Ganić.

Earlier this year, the Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) looked at the privatization of the company and found it deeply flawed and governed by rules that were not supported by BiH law.

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