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Kosovo: Highest bidder for Grand Hotel withdraws

Prishtinë, Mar 27 2006 - KTA officials said on Thursday that the Makos consortium, the highest bidder for Grand Hotel, has officially withdrawn. Makos representatives said they had to make this decision because they were threatened.

“Makos representatives claim to have withdrawn because they were threatened. Now they should provide evidence to KTA. In the meantime KTA will continue with the standard procedures and based on the facts, the KTA Board will decide on future steps,” said Ekrem Tahiri, Spokesperson for KTA.

According to the KTA Regulation, Makos will lose the €500,000 it has deposited for the privatization of Grand. But if KTA verifies their claims were true, Makos will get the money back.

“The rules according to which the KTA functions says that if the first bidder withdraws, we go with the second bidder, and the procedures are the same as with the first bidder,” Tahiri told RTK. “But, I want to stress that the KTA Board has the final say, which makes the decision about the further steps.”

“Security is an important factor for investments in Kosovo, mainly to attract foreign investments,” said Tahiri. “So far the security in Kosovo was at satisfactory level, the international investors were safe. Lately we had a few cases where the first bidder withdrew with the justification that they were endangered and threatened. Police is investigating all these cases.”

KTA has already started negotiations with the second bidder, the Silcapor company. The owner of Silcapor, Zelqif Berisha, said he is ready to pay €8.1 for Grand. Silcapor has offered €8.1 million, € 20.2 million of investment and hiring 500 persons.

Tahiri also said that the KTA Board decided that the two mines, Strezovc and Golesh, which were tendered in the 8th wave of privatization, are to be re-tendered in the next wave of privatization. According to Tahiri, the mines will be re-tendered because there was only one bid for each mine and the price was very low.

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