Batagon to expand car battery production in Serbia's Sombor

Switzerland-based Batagon International plans to expand its production and open 150 jobs at the former factory of insolvent car battery maker Fabrika Akumulatora Sombor (FAS) by the end of the year, the factory's director Darinka Djuran said.

"The goal is to start producing 7,000 car batteries daily by the end of the year," Djuran said in a video file posted on the YouTube channel of regional public broadcaster RTV last week.

The company currently has 200 employees engaged in the production of car batteries under the Black Horse brand in Sombor.

"Our market is, at the moment, first and foremost Russia, because there is high demand, then Italy, France, Germany, Spain. So we are active in Europe and Russia, but also in the region. We will go further. We are currently analysing potential markets," she added.

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Batagon International signed an agreement for the acquisition of the FAS factory for 7.35 million euro ($8.15 million) in December 2017 after the creditors' board of the Serbian company has earlier rejected five offers by the Swiss company.

In May 2014, the Serbian government agreed to sell FAS to Greek company DEM Hellas owned by entrepreneur Eftimios Karanasios. However, DEM Hellas did not meet its contractual obligations and the Serbian government called a new tender for the sale of FAS in October 2016. The tender attracted no bids.