Cemex may have to return Nicaraguan company

Cemex may have to return Nicaraguan company
Published: 28 December 2004

After the courts ruled in its favor, the Nicaraguan government has presented an appeal to the Supreme Court of Justice for Cementos de México (Cemex) to return Compañía Nacional Productora de Cementos to its old owners, which include the a family of the former dictator Anastasio Somoza.

The company was leased to Cemex for 25 years in 2000 after the Mexican company won an international auction. However, President Enrique Bolaños reported that the appeal had been lodged because one law obliges the lease and another demands its return.

"The cement maker has a dilemma. There is a law that obliges the president [of
Nicaragua] to lease [Compañía Nacional Productora de Cementos]. An auction was called and it
was leased", said Bolaños. Today a ruling states that it should be returned to the Somozas", he added. Bolaños estimated the value of the Nicaraguan company at US$50 million and its return to its old
shareholders will oblige the state to repay the money paid out for it by Cemex.