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Aluminij Mostar management resigns amid financial woes

The management of Bosnia-based Aluminij d.d. Mostar stepped down amid struggles to find a strategic partner for the troubled aluminum smelter, Reuters reported Dec. 17.

The smelter, which is facing debt of about 380 million Bosnian convertible marka due to high alumina and electricity prices, filed for bankruptcy in July after Swiss mining and commodities giant Glencore PLC withdrew from takeover talks.

In September, a consortium of China Machinery Engineering Corp., China Nonferrous Metal Industry's Foreign Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. and Israel's M.T Abraham Group offered to invest in the smelter in exchange for subsidized electricity prices and debt rescheduling. The government did not accept the offer.

The board rejected a subsequent offer from the consortium, prompting the management team to resign, the report said.

The board asked the remaining management to continue talks with the consortium to improve its offer, Reuters said.

Reuters noted that the smelter has made severance payments to two-thirds of its workforce, while the remaining employees await the outcome of further talks.

As of Dec. 17, US$1 was equivalent to 1.75 Bosnian convertible marka.