02 Feb 15
Serbs, Israelis, Buy Montenegrin Arms Firm
Montenegro has sold 100 per cent of the shares of the state-owned arms company, Montenegro Defence Industry, MDI, to a Serbo-Israeli consortium for 680,000 euros.
According to the draft agreement for the sale of MDI, which BIRN has seen, a consortium of two companies, CPR-IMPEX from Belgrade and ATL Atlantic Technologies Ltd from Tel Aviv, are required to invest an additional 400,000 euro by the end of 2015.
The Serbo-Israeli joint offer was the sole bid for the tender, which was completed in last December.
“The buyer will have to keep all employees for the next three years and provide a wage increase up to 20 per cent in 2015,” the draft contract provides.
In a separate privatization procedure, Montenegro has decided to sell a majority stake in a factory for the production of plastic explosives, Poliex, to a consortium of a Serbian company, Prva Iskra, and a Montenegrin citizen, Slavko Vujisic, for 138,000 euros.
MDI and Poliex are the most important components of the arms industry in Montenegro with multi-million dollar turnovers annually.
MDI was previously part of the Yugoslav state conglomerate, Jugoimport SDPR. It is the legal successor to Yugoimport Mont Ltd, established in 1997 as a joint venture between Jugoimport SDPR from Belgrade, owning 60 per cent of the company, and the government of Montenegro, owning 40 per cent.
After Montenegro gained independence in 2006, the government paid several million euros to buy out Jugoimport SDPR’s part of the company and became the sole owner of MDI.
In 2012, MDI was accused of illegally exporting arms to Libya and Syria but the company denied the claims.
EU representatives have told Montenegro to harmonize its legislation on the arms trade to match the EU Code of Conduct on Arms Export, which defines common rules on governing the exports of military technology and equipment.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)