Statement on the announced nationalization of the Venezuelan cement industry


Holcim Venezuela has been officially informed by the Venezuelan government that it plans to nationalize all foreign cement producers operating in the country. The acquisition of at least 60 percent of the share capital of the companies affected is to be instigated as soon as possible, and Holcim Venezuela has been called on to nominate a negotiating delegation.

Holcim has been operating in Venezuela since 1978, when the Group acquired a minority holding in Cementos Caribe. Following the merger with another private cement company, Holcim successively increased its stake in Holcim Venezuela - a major national producer of building materials - to 99.9 percent.

In the course of the forthcoming negotiations, Holcim will endeavor to find a solution that is satisfactory to both sides, and is determined to safeguard the interests of the Venezuelan Group company and its employees. Holcim is confident that the company will be able to continue producing as normal and efficiently serve the market.

Holcim Venezuela operates two cement plants in Puerto Cumarebo and San Sebastián with an annual capacity of 2.9 million tonnes of cement and, on the request of the Venezuelan government, has for some considerable time been producing exclusively for the domestic market. The company also has ready-mix concrete facilities and aggregates plants. In 2007, Holcim Venezuela with its 774-strong workforce recorded net sales of approximately USD 200 million, accounting for approximately 1 percent of Group turnover. In the past eight years, Holcim Venezuela has invested an average of USD 20 million p.a. in efficiency improvements and environmental measures.

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Holcim is one of the world's leading suppliers of cement and aggregates (crushed stone, gravel and sand) as well as further activities such as ready-mix concrete and asphalt including services. The Group holds majority and minority interests in more than 70 countries on all continents.
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This media release is also available in German.
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