Arab Today, arab today venezuela settles with mexico\s cemex over takeover
Last Updated : GMT 14:24:41
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Venezuela settles with Mexico\'s Cemex over takeover

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Venezuela settles with Mexico\'s Cemex over takeover

Caracas - AFP

The government of President Hugo Chavez  announced it had agreed to pay Mexican cement giant Cemex $600 million for expropriating its Venezuela operations in 2008. The agreement nullifies a World Bank arbitration the Mexican company filed soon after the takeover. \"Compensation will be paid $240 million in cash and $360 million in various negotiable securities issued by (Venezuelan state oil giant) Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (\"PDVSA\"),\" Cemex said in a statement. Industries Minister Ricardo Menendez told state news agency AVN that Venezuela agreed with the Mexican company on Wednesday to pay $240 million \"in the next days,\" and the remainder over four years. In April 2008 Chavez ordered the nationalization of Venezuela\'s cement factories, and in August of that year took over Cemex\'s local operations. Cemex is the world\'s third largest cement producer, and its Venezuela operation has the capacity to produce 4.6 million tons of cement a year -- about half of the country\'s cement production. Cemex was likely amenable to reaching an agreement with Venezuela because of its own problems: the company currently has a $17 billion debt and has seen its stock value plummet, in part due to construction slowdowns in Europe and the United States. Chavez seized the company after rejecting the company\'s reportedly overpriced demand of 1.3 billion dollars for a controlling share of the business. The nationalization came after buyout talks failed. In April 2008 Chavez said he wanted to create a large national cement company so that he could build much-needed housing for the poor. \"We are convinced that the agreement has been positive for all sides,\" said Jaime Elisondo, Cemex\'s representative in Venezuela. Since 2007 Venezuela has nationalized oil fields in the Orinoco basin, energy, telecommunications, oil and steel concerns, and French, Swiss and Mexican cement companies.

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