A UK-based fund is leading the bidding race to acquire Serbia's largest drinks producer Knjaz Milos.

FPP Balkan ltd has registered the highest bid for the company, which was put up for sale by the government. FPP Balkan bid 23,000 dinars (US$385.56) per share for the 72% on sale.

Rival offers came from Apurna, a joint venture between Danone and Serb-born National Basketball Association player Vlade Divac, which tabled 17,500 dinars per share, and Slovenian brewer Pivovarna Lasko, which offered 19,000 dinars.

However, none of the bids met the minimum conditions set out by the government. That said they were accepted by the Serbian Securities Commission.

Serbia has set a deadline of yesterday (15 November) for investors interested in the stake.
Serbia's government had invited investors to buy 72% of the firm at a minimum price of 20,000 dinars (US$335.9) per share, which valued Knjaz at about €120m (US$153.5m).
 
The government also wanted buyers to promise to invest €20m in the company, keep on all the workers for three years after the acquisition and spend 5% of profit after tax in the first year to pay bonuses to employees.