One of the largest and oldest companies in Smederevo, Serbia - railway vehicles factory Želvoz, went bankrupt on the 1st of July 2015. The supervisory Board filed bankrupcy after the decision was made by the Annual General Meeting. Želvoz is a joint stock company in majority ownership of the Republic of Serbia, or more precisely the Privatization Agency, with 86.11 percent of shares.
It was a logical decision considering big financial problems which the company was facing for few years. It is estimated that the company owes 1.6 billion Serbian dinars (about 13.3 million euros) to its suppliers, and at the beginning of June it has been removed from the list of companies protected from creditors by state. At least 500 million dinars (about 4 million) will be paid for the back salaries. In last few years 750 people left the company through three employee placement programs. Today, only 350 employees is still working. Želvoz owes more than 25 salaries and 3 years of unpaid contributions to the former employees. The amount of total debt to employees it is still not known yet.
According to the report of the Council for the Fight against Corruption Zelvoz owes 2.4 billion dinars (20 million euros) only for taxes in 2014. Besides, it was emphasized that the company also spent 2.1 billion dinars (approximately 17.5 million euros) from the state budget inappropriately, mainly through the renovation project EAS wagons.
Recently, the acquisition of Zelvoz by Italian company "Cimolai", engaged in the production of steel structures, is mentioned as one of the possible solutions for the future of the Zelvoz. The Italians have already shown some interest in stumbled Želvoz, and now have rented a hall inside the factory complex.
Next year Želvoz could celebrate one hundred years of work. Its still quite uncertain, whether the company will exist long enough, or in which form will it exist, to celebrate the anniversary.