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Montenegro has sold its bankrupt Zeljezara steel mill in Niksic to a Turkish metals company, which will help the Adriatic country to reduce its debt burden.
Turykey's Toscelik Profil ve Sac Endustrisi AS bought the smelter in the northern city of Niksic for 15.1 million euro. The mill was declared bankrupt last year with debts of some 193 million euros. Two previous tenders for the company failed to attract any bidders.
The government this year took on debts of 32 million euro from the steel mill and another 132 million euro from the country's aluminium producer Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica, KAP.
Taking on the debts from these two companies forced Montenegro, a country of 680,000 people, to revise down its growth forecast last week from 2 per cent to 0.5 per cent in 2012.
In 2006, the British-based MN Specialty Steels Limited paid 5.2 million euro for a 66.7 per cent stake in the then state-run Zeljezara Niksic. In 2008, MNSS, a Dutch private equity fund, acquired a majority stake in the firm.
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