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FPP Balkan Buys around 25% of Shares from Knjaz Milos

FPP Balkan Limited, part of London-based FPP Group, bought around 25% of shares from Knjaz Milos small shareholders, or over 43% of all voting shares in the mineral water company. FPP Balkan Limited, which offered 17.2k dinars per share, pledged to pour 25m euros into Knjaz Milos to settle the company's debts and inject fresh capital.

It said it would not cut jobs and promised to increase salaries by 15% in the first year of acquisition. According to Srdjan Muskatirovic, a FPP Balkan Limited representative in Belgrade, the state, which holds a 41.28% non-voting stake in the beverage firm, has refused to sell its shares at the same price, asking for 20k dinars per share.

At the same time, the Serbian Privatisation Agency said that its public invitation to small shareholders to combine their shares with state-held capital, form a majority stake and put it up for sale is open until Sept 24.

Knjaz Milos Deputy Director Radojica Milivojevic said that around 30% of small shareholders have agreed to merge their shares with the state so far, stressing that the majority stake has already drawn considerable interest.

(NewsBase 23.ix.04)

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