Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez decreed the nationalization of foreign-owned cement companies last April and stressed that the government would own at least 60 per cent of the shares in each firm.
To move forward towards nationalization, the Congress passed last June a law for the organization of the cement industry. According to the law, the parties have 60 days to negotiate an agreement.
Presently, representatives of the Venezuelan government are assessing the financial reports provided by the three cement companies: Cemex, Lafarge and Holcim. They had already began the assessment of companies in order to submit a payment proposal.
Official sources indicate that a final response from the three foreign-owned cement companies would come in August. Then, Venezuelan authorities will know whether the current owners are keeping a minority stake or closing down operations.