Venezuela Court: return Cemento Andino assets to Argos

Venezuela Court: return Cemento Andino assets to Argos
Published: 31 March 2009

Colombia’s largest cement company, Cementos Argos SA can now negotiate with the Venezuelan government for compensation after the expropriation of Venezuelan cement plant Cemento Andino, Argos said Monday.

The assets of the Venezuelan plant, which changed hands a few times in the past three years, have been ruled by Venezuela’s Supreme Court of Justice as belonging to Argos.

"Cementos Argos is pleased with this important ruling as it reverts the unfair decision against us," Argos said in a filing to the securities regulator.

Argos expects the Venezuelan government to recognize around $250 million in compensation for the expropriation of its assets including investment, Luis Alberto Velez, Argos chief executive, had said.

Argos, which had already written off the investment, could receive between $45 million to $184 million for Andino, said Jose Fernando Restrepo, analyst at the Medellin-based brokerage Interbolsa.

"The ruling is excellent news for Argos as the court recognizes that Andino belongs to Argos. Now Argos must negotiate with the Venezuelan government to obtain a good compensation for its assets," Restrepo added.

Source: Dow Jones