Egypt: An Egyptian court has accepted an appeal by Assiut Cement to prevent the overrule of its privatisation in 1999. The case regarding the Cemex subsidiary has now been referred to an administrative court.
Two former Assiut employees, who were among workers to take an early-retirement package following the privatisation, brought a lawsuit against Assiut and certain Egyptian government representatives in 2011, seeking to annul the privatisation. The civil court ruled to annul the sale in 2012, but Assiut appealed. The civil appeals court accepted the appeal, overruled the first instance court and has referred the case to an administrative court, said Maher Al-Haffar, Cemex's vice president of corporate communications and investor relations.
"The process will start from the beginning, and the new court will have to hear the merits of the case," Al-Haffar said. Meanwhile, Egyptian cement operations are continuing and will continue normally, he added.
Mexico-based Cemex purchased a controlling stake in Assiut Cement in 1999 from Egypt's state-owned Metallurgical Industries Holding. It has since increased its cement production capacity to 5.4Mt/yr from 3.7Mt/yr and added ready-mix concrete, aggregates and housing developments to its cement operations. Assiut had sales of US$471m in 2012, equivalent to about 3.1% of Cemex's US$15bn in global sales.