Ciments Français pushes to keep Euro50m payment from Sibtsem

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Russia: Ciments Français has gone to court to keep a Euro50m advance payment from OAO Sibtsem Holding for Turkish cement assets that the latter company did not acquire.

Ciments Français filed a suit with the Russian supreme arbitration court on 20 December 2011 to recognise the ruling of the Istanbul arbitration court as of 7 December 2010. Under this ruling the French company does not have to return the advance payment to Siberian Cement for the acquisition of Turkish Set Group, which has four cement plants with a capacity 5Mt/yr. On 26 December 2011 the court accepted the suit for consideration.

In March 2008 Sibtsement announced that it would acquire Set Group from Ciments Français, having paid Euro377m and about 5% of its shares, estimated at Euro200m. The first instalment stood at Euro50m. However, the world financial crisis prevented the companies from closing the deal. In the autumn of 2008 the parties began discussing payment for the deal by instalments but they failed to reach an agreement.

In the summer of 2010 the arbitration court of the Kemerovo region in Russia confirmed that Ciments Français had to return the advance payment as the agreement was null and void. In early 2011 the Kemerovo court refused to confirm the Istanbul court ruling.


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