Cimsa to seek arbitration over GCC’s sale of Soboce stake

Cimsa to seek arbitration over GCC’s sale of Soboce stake
Published: 23 August 2011

Bolivian investment holding Cimsa, the majority shareholder of the Bolivia’s largest cement firm, Soboce, has said it will seek arbitration against Mexican cement firm Grupo Cementos Chihuahua for allegedly violating a partnership agreement.

GCC withdrew from Bolivia last week after completing the sale of its 47% share in Soboce, a private firm, to Peru’s Consorcio Cementero del Sur, a subsidiary of Grupo Gloria.

Cimsa, owned by Bolivian opposition politician Samuel Doria, had a preferred interest in GCC’s stake under Bolivian law, the company said in a statement.

"Cimsa will begin an arbitration process so that the failure to comply with the shareholder agreement and Cimsa’s right of first refusal are adequately remediated, and the sale of the shares by GCC can be reversed," the statement reads.

Earlier this year, GCC pulled out of a planned US$100m investment in a Bolivian housing project, citing a lack of legal security.

Last September, Bolivia’s government nationalized 33.4% of Soboce’s shares in state cement producer Fancesa. Soboce says it has yet to receive any compensation.