The Brazilian justice ministry’s antitrust division (Cade) has temporarily suspended an agreement for the buying and selling of white cement between industrial group Votorantim and construction firm Camargo Corrêa, local press reported.
The companies signed an agreement in November 2005 which committed Cimento Rio Branco - one of Votorantim’s holdings - to exclusively purchase agreed volumes of white cement from Camargo Corrêa at predetermined prices. Rio Branco also agreed to close its cement factory, making Camargo Corrêa the country’s only producer of white cement.
Officials from the finance and justice ministries told the antitrust division that the agreement would have a damaging impact on the country’s white cement market. They requested that Cade order the continuance of operations at Rio Branco’s cement factory and prohibit information sharing between the two companies.
Cade council member Luiz Carlos Prado issued a statement ordering Rio Branco to keep its factory and to make preparations for reinitiating production, according to the newspaper Gazeta Mercantil. Cade issued the decision late Wednesday and imposed a 53,200-real (US$23,000) daily fine if the companies disobey the order.