U.S. Steel Corp. has decided to sell its plant in Smederevo, Serbia, to the Serbian government for $1, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic said Jan. 27.
U.S. Steel is pulling out of Serbia because of the global economic downturn, Cvetkovic told Beta news agency.
The Serbian government decided to buy the Smederevo plant, located 25 miles east of Belgrade, to prevent layoffs of 5,500 employees and keep the plant in operation.
The steel plant is Serbia's biggest single exporter, accounting for 14% of all Serbian exports.
"We do not intend to run the plant long term, we are looking for a strategic partner," Cvetkovic said.
U.S. Steel brought the plant in 2003 for $23 million, according to the company's website.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012