Legal row shuts Syrian sugar refinery
Abu Dhabi, February 8, 2012
A dispute over ownership led to production at Syria's National Sugar Co being stopped, according to a statement by the holding company's minority shareholders.
It denied the stoppage was caused by poor security conditions in the troubled country.
Sugar Invest Limited, Cargill and Wellington Mediterranean Investment, the minority shareholders of Syrian Sugar Refinery Holding Limited, issued the joint statement on Tuesday in response to comments made by the firm's chairman to Reuters.
Company chairman, Najib Assaf, said on Sunday work had stopped due to the security situation in Syria.
National Sugar Co is located 25 km (15 miles) south of the city of Homs, which witnessed one of the bloodiest episodes of violence last weekend since the start of the nearly year-long revolt against President Bashar Al Assad.
The minority shareholders said operations stopped when they brought legal action against Assaf after, they alleged, he unilaterally tried to push them out of the firm.
The minority shareholders said the plant, which used to refine around 2,500 tonnes of sugar a day, had been unable to import any raw sugar as a result and had not been in operation since August 15, 2011.
Legal proceedings regarding ownership were under way in multiple jurisdictions including Syria, England and Jersey, the joint statement said. - Reuters