Austria's Gerlinger buys meat processing plant

Aleksandar Vucic on Friday attended a ceremony in Sremska Mitrovica where Austria0s Gerlinger Holding took over as the new owner of Mitros.

Source: Tanjug

The new owner of the meat processing plant has bound itself to invest EUR 16 million in new equipment and hire 360 workers in the first stage, with production expected to start in early July.

Gerlinger Holding's long-term goal is to invest EUR 20 million in the factory, hire more than 1,000 workers and export its products to China and Russia.

At the ceremony, Vucic noted that the arrival of the Austrian company was "very significant for Sremska Mitrovica, the Vojvodina province and Serbia because the Mitros factory - which was the pride of the country for decades, only to be destroyed in the period from 2005 to 2009 - will be renewed on a healthy foundation."

Vucic said that he believes that Gerlinger Holding will cooperate with Germany's Toennies, whose representatives are already looking for land in Serbia to build pig farms on, which he said would give another boost to production at Mitros.

This will also help Serbian farmers, because they will produce more and secure a market for themselves, the prime minister said.

Gerlinger Holding owner Johann Gerlinger said that Serbia is the ideal place for investments because it has raw materials, but also meets the other required preconditions.

He said that his company has production plants in Romania and Hungary and that it exports products to the EU and Russia.

I knew that, if we want to build special ties with Russia, we have to go to Serbia, Gerlinger said.

He pledged that his company will introduce European production standards and help Mitros regain the glory that it had in the former Yugoslavia.

Gerlinger received the keys of Mitros from Sremska Mitrovica Mayor Branislav Nedimovic, who expressed confidence that the new owner will keep the promises made, which he said will aid the city's progress as well as the recovery of surrounding villages.

Established in the 1950s, Mitros Meat Industry was a leader in former Yugoslavia's meat processing industry for many years, with a workforce of 1,250.

Swisslion Takovo became the owner of the factory following the first privatization in 2005, but Mitros went into bankruptcy four years later, when it had 150 employees.

A further two unsuccessful sales followed, after which the creditors' committee of Mitros accepted on January 16 a EUR 800,000 Gerlinger Holding offer to sell the industrial slaughterhouse and can factory.

The Austrian company has production plants in Hungary and Romania, which employ around 800 people. Mitros is its third plant, and it has been announced that its output will be the highest in the company.

"No impact"

Aleksandar Vucic said on Friday he believed the announcement issued by the Greek government concerning the renouncement of privatization for the port of Piraeus "will not impact the realization of the project of modernization of the Belgrade-Budapest railway."

Addressing reporters in Sremska Mitrovica, Vucic said that he talked with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras concerning the projects in the region, and added that the project idea for the Belgrade-Budapest railway is being prepared so as to complete land expropriation for the construction of the second railway track as soon as possible and launch the project realization this year.

The newly appointed Greek government will halt the privatization of its biggest port Piraeus for the takeover of which Chinese group COSCO has already filed its bid. The announcement on renouncement of the port privatization caused concern in China.

The project of construction of the Belgrade-Budapest railway is being conducted in cooperation with China.

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