The Kemerovo region Arbitration Court began hearing of a suit brought by Italcementi-owned Ciments Francais against OAO Siberian Cement Holding. The France-based company wants a foreign court ruling relating to its sale of the Turkish Set Group to Siberian Cement, recognised in Russia. Under the ruling, Ciments Français is not to return a €50m advance payment to Siberian Cement when the latter agreed to buy Set Group.
Ciments Français agreed on 2 April 2008 to sell its Turkish assets for €600m to Siberian Cement, the second largest Russian cement producer and leader in the region east of the Urals. The transaction would be paid largely in cash (€400m) with the balance in Siberian Cement shares, which would see Ciments Français own 5.4% of Siberian Cement’s shares. The first instalment was determined at €50m. However, the world financial crisis intervened and the companies did not finalise the deal. In the autumn 2008, the parties started discussions regarding payment for the deal by instalments but failed to reach an agreement, according to Vedomosti.