Israeli Investment Group company said it has offered to pay 60 million marka for a majority state-owned stake in Bosnian mining company RZR Ljubija, 7 million marka more than local iron ore mine operator ArcelorMittal Prijedor.
The government of Bosnia’s Serb Republic is examining both offers for the purchase of its 64.9% stake in Ljubija, Israeli Investment Group owner, Evgeni Zotov, told local broadcaster ATV on Tuesday.
Israeli Investment Group is also offering to invest a further 60 million marka in Ljubija over the next three years and to open 300 new jobs. According to Zotov, ArcelorMittal Prijedor is offering to invest an equal amount but over a period of 10 years.
In June, ArcelorMittal Prijedor told SeeNews that following meetings with Serb Republic officials, it is interested in the purchase of a majority state-owned stake in RZR Ljubija.
ArcelorMittal Prijedor is a joint venture of ArcelorMittal and RZR Ljubija. ArcelorMittal is a majority shareholder with a 51% stake.
Prior to ArcelorMittal Prijedor showing interest, the Serb Republic’s government announced it had decided to sell its stake in Ljubija to Israeli Investment Group. Local media reported at the time that ArcelorMittal was unhappy with the deal, through which Israeli Investment Group would indirectly acquire a stake in ArcelorMittal Prijedor.
The Serb Republic is one of two autonomous entities forming Bosnia. The other one is the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.