Bloomberg News

Owens-Illinois Says Filed for Arbitration Against Venezuela

September 28, 2011

(Updates with takeover details in third paragraph.)

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Owens-Illinois, Inc., the world’s largest maker of glass containers, filed for international arbitration with the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement Disputes for compensation for two bottling plants nationalized by President Hugo Chavez’s government in October 2010.

Owens-Illinois filed through its Dutch subsidiary, OI European Group B.V., in order to seek compensation under a bilateral investment treaty between the Netherlands and Venezuela, company spokeswoman Stephanie Johnston said today in an e-mailed statement.

Chavez last year ordered a government takeover of the local unit of the U.S.-owned glass manufacturer, alleging that the company exploited workers and damaged the environment.

Venezuela now has 18 arbitration cases pending in the ICSID, as the court is known. Carlos Escarra, the country’s prosecutor general, on Sept. 21 said that state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela, known as PDVSA, and Exxon Mobil Corp. were negotiating an arbitration settlement of around $6 billion for assets seized in 2007. PDVSA said later the same day it isn’t negotiating directly with Exxon.

Helmerich & Payne Inc. said it filed a lawsuit Sept. 23 against Venezuela and PDVSA alleging that the country seized 11 drilling rigs on June 29, 2010.

To contact the reporters on this story: Charlie Devereux in Caracas at cdevereux3@bloomberg.net; Jose Orozco in Caracas at jorozco8@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net


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