Dividend payment to Sidor workers to be proportional

Friday, June 24, 2005

Workers at Venezuelan steelmaker Sidor have accepted that a dividend payment due June 30 will be proportional to the number of shares held by each present or former employee, locals papers reported.

The alternative was to make a fixed one-off payment to the entire workforce and retired employees.

State heavy industry holding company CVG recognized late May the rights of series B shareholders, past and present employees, to a US$94mn dividend payment.

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Of this amount, 20% will be used to repay debt pending from when workers bought the shares. Future dividend payments will alternate between 50% in the form of debt payment and 50% cash, and the 20:80 breakdown.

Sidor is almost 60%-owned by the Amazonia consortium of Mexico's Hylsamex, the Techint group, Brazil's Usiminas and Venezuela's Sivensa. CVG has the other 40%.

Company plants in Puerto Ordaz in southeastern Venezuela's Bolívar state produced 3.4Mt steel products in 2004. Sidor is Venezuela's largest steelmaker.