Minister: Payment to Sidor shareholders imminent

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Venezuela's comptroller will soon announce plans to pay the cash flow surplus to class B shareholders of steelmaker Sidor, basic industry and mining (Mibam) minister Victor Álvarez said in a statement

"It's only a few days for the comptroller's definitive announcement that will allow the payment to become official," he said.

The official added that money needed for the payment "has not been used for other purposes" in response to concerns from workers that state heavy industry holding company CVG had earmarked the money for other needs.

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In May the CVG acknowledged the rights of series B shareholders to a US$94mn dividend payment.

In the first payment CVG distributed US$35.8mn of cash surplus among Sidor workers.

Out of the US$94mn, 20% will go to pay down debt resulting from when workers bought shares. Future dividend payments will include 20% for debt and 80% cash, changing later on to 50% debt and 50% cash, and then again 20% and 80% and so on.

This plan will be implemented for CVG's future revenues from Sidor cash surplus until debt has been written off.

"From then on series B shareholders will receive 100% of their respective surplus portion," Álvarez said.