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Egyptian court overturns cement company ruling

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World Cement,

An appeals court in Egypt has overturned a previous ruling that cancelled Cemex’s 1999 purchase of Assiut Cement Company. Two former Assiut employees, who had taken up the early retirement package following privatisation of the company, filed the original lawsuit in 2011. In 2012, a lower court ordered the purchase agreement annulled, a decision Assiut appealed, and this week a civil court of appeals overturned the ruling and referred the case to an administrative court. A spokesperson for Cemex told Egyptian press that the process would now begin again with a new court to hear the case, calling the decision a ‘step in the right direction’.

Assiut Cement Company has cement production capacity of 5.4 million t and is Cemex’s largest plant by capacity. Sales in 2012 reached US$471 million, making up more than 3% of Cemex’s total international sales. The acquisition of the company from Metallurgical Industries in 1999 was part of the government’s privatisation programme during which more than 200 Egyptian companies were privatised. Since the acquisition, Cemex has expanded capacity at the plant up from 3.7 million t and added ready-mix concrete, aggregates and affordable housing development to its operations.

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