Esmark has been selected by the Republic of Serbia as the winning bidder in the privatization process for the Železara Smederevo Steel Works. Esmark Europe B.V. will begin the process of finalizing the strategic partnership agreement with the Republic of Serbia to take a controlling 80.1% stake in the company, which includes two blast furnaces, a tin-plate production facility and a raw materials production and processing facility. Esmark Europe expects to close the transaction by Feb. 1 and immediately begin to implement its revitalization program.

As part of its commitment to the revitalization plan, Esmark Europe would invest approximately $400 million over the next five years for working capital, capital improvements and other investments, as well as an infusion of $28 million this year to repair and modernize the steel mill’s second blast furnace, steel shop and sinter plant. Esmark Europe expects the blast-furnace upgrades will complement the mill’s new state-of-the-art, $80 million pulverized coal injection plant.