Cemex wins Arbitration suit against Strabag

(Austria) — Cemex SAB has won an arbitration suit against Austria’s Strabag after the European company pulled out of a 2008 agreement to buy Cemex assets in Austria and Hungary.

The Mexican cement and building materials company said that an arbitration court has ordered Austria’s Strabag SE to pay Cemex EUR30 million ($37.1 million) plus interest and other costs.

The International Arbitration Court of the International Chamber of Commerce ruled on May 31 that Strabag’s termination of the agreement was invalid. The sides were notified on June 1.

In July 2009, Strabag terminated an agreement to buy the assets from Cemex for EUR310 million. It cited the failure to obtain antitrust clearance in Austria by the deadline as the reason for the termination.

However, Cemex rejected Strabag’s arguments and took the case to court.
Cemex said Strabag had been granted conditional approval by the Austrian Cartel Court , although one of the conditions couldn’t be met because a plant that Strabag was told it would have to sell to a third party had already been dismantled.

Cemex alleged that Strabag ignored its recommendation that it make a supplementary request to the Austrian Cartel Court, and instead appealed the decision, later using the lack of antitrust clearance as a reason for withdrawing from the agreement to buy the assets.

Strabag’s offices in Vienna couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

By: Rashmi Kalia (ARI-C NEWS)

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