The Associated Press
December 04, 2008
MEXICO CITY -- A World Bank arbitration division has agreed to consider a complaint by Mexican cement giant Cemex SAB against Venezuela's nationalization of its local cement plants, a company spokesman said Thursday.
Cemex, the world's third-largest cement maker, has called the confiscation of its assets a "flagrant violation" of Venezuela's constitution and its expropriation laws.
The Monterrey-based company announced in August that it would seek arbitration by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, an autonomous division of the World Bank in Washington.
Cemex spokesman Jorge Perez said the center has agreed to take up the case. He declined to give further details.
Venezuela seized control of Cemex's plants in August as a deadline for negotiating terms for their takeover expired.
The company has said Venezuela's offer of $650 million for its local operations "significantly undervalues its business in Venezuela."
Cemex has not specified how much it wants.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has called the nationalization of Cemex and two other cement companies one of many "steps toward socialism."