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Romania to launch Daewoo sale by early March

From Reuters| February 17,2007

Romania plans to launch the sale of its 72.4 percent stake in carmaker Daewoo Automobile by early next month, the government said today.

The centrist cabinet has said it hopes to wrap up the process by June, after it bought back the majority stake in the company from its bankrupt owner late last year. So far, the state has received four letters of intent from carmakers General Motors and Ford, India's Tata and China's Chery Automobile. "A preliminary sale announcement will be made by the first week of March at the latest. The privatisation committee decided to sell the state's whole stake," the government after a meeting between Prime Minister Calin Tariceanu and Ford representatives in Bucharest.

The head of Romania's privatisation agency, Teodor Atanasiu, has said he envisaged the buyer would have to ensure a minimum yearly output of 300,000 units.

Under the terms of the buyback deal, Romania paid $51 million for Daewoo Motor's stake and $10 million for debts stemming from past loans secured by the carmaker.

Many auto parts makers have set up in Romania recently, lured by the rising output of Renault's Dacia plant, cheap labour, favourable tax rates and its European Union entry in January.

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