Industrija Masina i Traktora (IMT) Belgrade in bankruptcy was sold today to the Indian company TAFE at the initial price of around RSD 66 million.
The Indian company, which produces tractors and other agricultural machines, was the only bidder at the auction and is also IMT's partner of many decades.
TAFE manager for Europe, Kamal Ahuja, said that tractors of this brand would be produced in Serbia and sold in southeast Europe and then in other markets as well.
– Our intention is to have more than 50% of tractor components come from Serbia, which opens those markets with which Serbia has free trade agreements – Ahuja said.
According to him, the new tractor plant, which will keep the name of IMT, will no longer be at the current location in New Belgrade, which is not suitable for heavy industry, but it has not yet been decided where it will be moved.
The estimate, as he said, is that the first tractors will be produced in a year and that a total of around 5,000 tractors will be produced in the first five years.
– Almost none of IMT's current equipment can be used – Ahuja said and added that it was hard to estimate how much investment would be needed to restart the production and how many workers would be employed.
TAFE has factories in India, China and Turkey, employs 12,000 people and has an annual turnover of USD 2.5 billion. So far, the group has been selling 300 to 400 tractors a year in Serbia.
The sale of IMT as a legal entity, let us remind, was advertised in early March at the initial price of RSD 66 million
. Facilities in Jarkovac, equipment and the trademark right, which is valid until September 12, 2027, were offered. The land that IMT had used, Novosti writes, was not offered and remains owned by the state.
Minister of Agriculture Branislav Nedimovic visited New Delhi and the companies TAFE and Mahindra late last year. It was pointed out at the time that TAFE was the closest to reaching the decision to purchase the IMT brand, whereas Mahindra would open a factory for primary production, processing and collection of fruit in Serbia
IMT has been in bankruptcy since 2015, when the debt amounted to EUR 186 million. The factory used to produce around 400,000 tractors a year and employ around 10,000 people.