SERBIA: Slovak wagon builder Tatravagónka Poprad has paid €5·4m for the Bratstvo wagon factory in Subotica, which has been privatised again after the government took control in mid-2009 to protect jobs and pay wages.

The agreement was signed in Bratislava on November 5 in the presence of Serbian Minister of Economy & Regional Development Mladjan Dinkic. It commits Tatravagonka to investing at least €3m in modernisation and developing exports to target markets including Germany, Russia and Austria.

Founded in 1886, Bratstvo is involved in the design, production and repair of freight rolling stock. Revenue reached €252m in 2009, and it has 1 900 employees which Tatravagónka will retain.

Tatravagónka is the second Slovak rail manufacturer to entered the Serbian market, following the sale of Gosa Smederevska Palanka to ZOS Trnava in January 2007.