Venezuela sees negotiated solution to Holcim dispute

Venezuela sees negotiated solution to Holcim dispute
Published: 27 March 2009

Venezuela expects to resolve a dispute over compensation to Holcim through negotiations, Venezuela’s energy minister said on Thursday, days after Holcim filed an arbitration suit against the OPEC nation.

Holcim last year signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing to a government takeover ordered by leftist President Hugo Chavez and granting some compensation.

But this week the Swiss company said it had filed suit to seek full compensation for the market value of seized assets after Venezuela cut off payment talks.

"We have an arrangement with the cement companies, and I’m sure that once we enter conversations for the final adjustments, that suit filed via arbitration can be withdrawn," Energy Minister Ramirez, who is charged with handling the cement talks, said in a televised broadcast.