(Reuters) – Venezuela announced on Friday the “temporary” takeover of two plants belonging to U.S. cleaning products maker Clorox Co which has left the country because of difficult economic conditions.
After Clorox management abruptly left, many of the firm’s 400 workers occupied two plants in the Valles del Tuy district to the south of Caracas and in central Carabobo district for several days.
“Here’s the workers’ government of President Nicolas Maduro temporarily occupying these installations together with the workers,” Vice President Jorge Arreaza said with officials at the Valles del Tuy plant on Friday evening.
“We’re going to reactivate the plant,” he said, accusing Clorox of an “evil” example by abandoning its staff.
In the latest sign of dissatisfaction from private businesses with Maduro’s running of the South American OPEC nation’s economy, Clorox announced its exit on Monday, saying its business was not viable and that it would sell its assets.
The company said operating restrictions imposed by the government, economic uncertainty and supply disruptions would have led to considerable operating losses. Its share price rose on the announcement, despite the company saying it expected to incur after-tax exit costs of $60 million to $65 million, or 46 cents to 50 cents per share, in its fiscal 2015.
Various multinationals, from Colgate-Palmolive Co to Avon Products Inc, have been warning of hits to their balance sheets and scaling back operations in Venezuela, citing Byzantine currency controls and a slowing economy.