India's TAFE buys Serbian tractor plant
The Indian company TAFE has bought the bankrupt Machine and Tractor Industry – IMT (Industrija masina i traktora Beograd) for some 66 million Dollars.
TAFE, which has worked with IMT for decades, was the only bidder at the auction. The Indian company makes tractors and other farming machinery. The auction sale was for buildings, equipment and the right to the name of the bankrupt Serbian company while the land on which IMT stood remains state-owned.
IMT went into receivership in 2015 with a debt of EUR 186 million. The plant once had a production of some 400,000 tractors with about 10,000 employees.
TAFE’s Director in charge of European affairs Kamaj Ahuja told reporters after the action that his company highly values the IMT brand, adding that tractors will be made in Serbia under that brand for sale in southeastern Europe and other markets. He said TAFE will work with local companies to secure more than 50% of the tractor parts, opening the markets in countries which Serbia has free trade agreements with. None of the existing IMT equipment can be used, he said.
Ahuja said the first tractors would be made in about a year at a new location which has not been decided yet. TAFE plans to make about 5,000 tractors in the first five years.