BUSINESS BYTES

Much interest in Košická magnezitka

Recently a third party has shown interest in privatizing the state run Košická magnezitka in Košice (now in liquidation). It offers to take over the company and its liabilities, worth 1 billion Sk. According to the bank VÚB (the company's largest creditor), the third party is backed by foreign capital. So far, the Minister of Industry favored a joint privatization project by VSŽ and Slovmag, which made a condition for their participation forgiving all Košická magnezitka debts. Another interested party, an owner of Gemer brewery, Vladimír Poliak, said he may take Minister of Economy Ján Ducký to court because Ducký slandered him by claiming that Poliak does not have the financial resources to realize his plans to transform the company. Slovenský magnezit Košice is reportedly interested in privatizing the company. Slovenský magnezit was established by Košická magnezitka's former director and the deputy labor unions leader. Fifty Košická magnezitka miners went on strike and refused to return from the mine, protesting against the on-going insensitivity of the Ministry of Industry regarding the company's problems.

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