Serbia: Government starts new attempt to privatize Valjewo Brewery

After the first attempt in October failed, the Serbian Ministry of Economy has started a second round to sell the state-owned Valjevo Brewery (Valjevska Pivara) in a bidding process. The starting price for the tender is 3.5 million euros, which is about half the company value. Early in October the first attempt failed to privatize the brewery because not a single interested party was willing to bid the starting price of about seven million euros.

Interested parties for the new bidding process can register and hand in their bidding price until December 17. Offers will be opened the following day and the brewery will be awarded to the highest bidder.

The state-owned Valjevo Brewery was the first time privatized in 2003 when Belgrade based Atlas Group consortium, consisting of Triglav Osiguranje (insurance), Gradina Ekspres and Atlas Bank, purchased the brewery for 20 million dinars. Seven years later, in 2010, a bankruptcy was filed because the company could not pay its debts.

Since then, the state was again owner of the brewery and tried to make the company more profitable. In 2017 Valjevo Brewery achieved a positive result with revenues of €4.55 million. The company employed 197 people and the output was about 100,000 hl (in 2015).

The beer market in Serbia is dominated by three major players: Molson Coors (Apatinska Pivara in Apatin, brand: Jelen Pivo, Beck's, Stella Artois, Staropramen),  Heineken (Pivara MB in Novi Sad, brand: MB, Heineken, Amstel, Efes; Zaječarska Pivara in Zaječar, brand: Zaječarsko Pivo) and Carlsberg (Carlsberg Srbijain in Čelarevo, brand: Lav Pivo,Carlsberg, Tuborg), which account for 91 percent of the beer market volume (in 2015).

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