Steelworks properties being auctioned

Several properties of the troubled metallurgical company KVV Liepajas metalurgs are being auctioned starting May 9 to cover the company's debts, reported Latvian Radio Monday.

The auction aims to cover at least part of the delayed payments. However, theoretically the company can still be saved by striking up agreements with creditors and resuming production.

Previously the company's shareholders requested lowering electricity prices so that it could survive.

While Economics Minister Arvils Ašeradens (Unity) told Latvian Radio previously that the metallurgy market has seen an unexpected rebound: "It's pretty unexpected. Metal prices are starting to grow. It looks like a good sign," said Ašeradens.

However the future of the company depends on the shareholders themselves. They have until May 17 to present suggestions on the future of the company to the government. 

"As of now we haven't received a feasible offer," said Ašeradens. 

KVV Liepajas Metalurgs missed a payment of €2.7 million that was due to the Latvian state in late 2015 and tried to negotiate an extension of the payment deadline but failed to meet the conditions set by the government for debt rescheduling.

The factory is a major employer in Latvia's third-largest city, so the fate of the plant has significant political implications.

Workers at the plant, many of whom only regained their jobs in recent months after previous layoffs, fear further problems.

The five properties are being auctioned at the Court Administration website, with the total asking price set at €2.156m.

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