O-I sells rights to $500 million Venezuelan award

  

Owens-Illinois (O-I) has sold the rights to a $500-million arbitration award against the Venezuelan government.

The world’s largest container glass manufacturing company received $115 million from an unnamed Irish investment fund in return for the rights to the arbitration award that was granted through the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

In its Q2 financial statement, the company said: “A European subsidiary of the Company sold to a third party its right, title and interest in amounts due under its arbitration award against Venezuela.

"As consideration, the subsidiary received a cash payment of $115 million, and retains a modest potential upside depending upon recovery of the award.”

The two-year-old arbitration ruling relates to the 2010 government takeover of two O-I glass factories in Venezuela. O-I had paid more than $600 million to buy the country’s third-largest glassmaker in a bid to expand its reach into the emerging market region.

But the Venezuelan government took control of the factories shortly after.

After hearing the case, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes found the Venezuelan government owed an O-I subsidiary $456 million. With interest, the total has risen to about $500 million.

If the buyer of the arbitration settlement can collect the money, O-I could get more than the $115 million. Venezuela has petitioned to have the ruling annulled, and a hearing on that is scheduled for later this year. Should the annulment be approved, O-I would have to pay back the $115 million.

O-I said it will use the $115 million to pay down debt.