10/10/2021 – 21:59
The Valencian group Cementos La Unin, controlled by the Bertoln family, has decided to make cash and divest its international assets, its business in Chile. The Valencian group has closed the transfer of its business in the country to the largest cement company in Peru, Unacem, after last March the Chilean National Economic Prosecutor (FNE) gave the green light to the transfer.
The operation is valued at 23 million dollars (20 million euros), an amount that includes both the value of the purchase and the debt that the new owner assumes of the assumed subsidiary of Cementos La Unin, according to the company. Peruvian.
The assets transferred include a plant located in the port of San Antonio with a cement grinding and packaging capacity of 300,000 tons per year, as well as its concrete division, with two plants and a capacity of 336,000 cubic meters.
Cementos La Unin had entered Chile in 2008 as part of its international expansion process. Although the Bertoln family’s main asset outside of Spain is a clinker factor in Egypt, it is also present in the Dominican Republic and had created partnerships to explore its entry into Brazil and Mexico.
Goodbye to the Congolese branch
The exit from Chile is not the only divestment decided in the middle of the pandemic. According to the report of Hormigones Corts, the group that consolidates the majority of the Bertoln construction and cement business, has also liquidated its subsidiary in Congo, where it maintained a warehouse for the sale of final products.
The Bertoln family group reduced its consolidated business by 8.3% to € 319 million and its net profit was also cut by more than half, to € 3.14 million. Its cement activity in fact ended in losses, due to the decline of the activity of its crown jewel, its Egyptian subsidiary Arabian Cement Company, which were compensated thanks to the good performance of its construction company, Grupo Bertoln.
as public the Economist, the Valencian group has seen how the arbitration award on the dispute it had with the Egyptian Government rejected its request for compensation of 236 million euros. The Spanish cement company had resorted to international arbitration after Egypt passed a decree in 2008 that retroactively imposed new activity and electricity licenses on its plant shortly after construction was completed.
After several years of negotiations without reaching an agreement for Arabian Cement Company, the Egyptian factory in which the Spanish group is the main shareholder with 60% of the capital, decided in 2013 to resort to arbitration by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. (ICSID) of the World Bank.
The company has appealed the arbitration award, which despite acknowledging that Egypt did not respect the framework set with Spain for investments, it considered that the compensation was not justified.