Venezuela orders takeover of Andino

Venezuela orders takeover of Andino
Published: 13 August 2007

Venezuela has ordered the "forced acquisition" of the assets of cement maker Cemento Andino, owned by Colombia’s Cementos Argos , the official gazette circulating on Friday said.

Venezuela’s legislature last week called for the state takeover of Cemento Andino as part of efforts to promote economic development, prompting Argos to request that it receive a fair price for its assets.

The government of leftist President Hugo Chavez will take over buildings and land located in the western Venezuelan state of Trujillo, the gazette said.

The new state-run venture will ensure cement production for domestic industry while focusing on workers’ needs and community development, reflecting Chavez’s call for "socialist businesses" as part of his self-styled revolution.

"We hope we get a fair price from the Venezuelan government," Argos said in a statement last week. Chavez in April threatened to nationalize cement makers if they did not boost supplies to the domestic market.