Venezuela cement takeover payment not ordered yet

Venezuela cement takeover payment not ordered yet
Published: 25 March 2009

Venezuela said on Tuesday it has started paying Argentine-controlled Ternium for the nationalisation of steelmaker Sidor, but has not paid cement makers Holcim and Lafarge for last year’s takeovers.

Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez said on Tuesday an agreement had been reached with Ternium to compensate it for the takeover of Venezuela’s largest steel plant, but said he had not yet been ordered to pay Holcim and France’s Lafarge.

"An agreement was reached and (we are) in the process of paying," Ali Rodriguez said in a meeting with foreign reporters with respect to the Sidor deal.

Holcim on Monday launched international arbitration to seek full compensation for the assets seized by the government of leftist President Hugo Chavez in 2008 during a nationalization drive.