The Serbian privatisation authorities are pushing for the country's top mineral water producer Knjaz Milos and US basketball star Vlade Divac to agree a deal within a month that would see Divac take a stake in the company.

The water company and Divac are negotiating under government supervision. They have been given a September 6 deadline to seal a strategic partnership.

When Divac, who plays for the LA Lakers, agreed to enter talks about taking on the majority stake last year, the government ceased negotiations with other interested parties, which included Coca-Cola, Danone and Nestle.

The privatisation agency has not said whether it will call a tender if the water company does not complete a deal before the deadline.