LA PAZ – Bolivia’s government signed an agreement on Thursday with Spain’s Abertis that provides for $23 million in compensation for the 2013 nationalization of its Sabsa unit, which managed the three main airports in the Andean nation.
“The Bolivian state has reduced the amount of the claim by some 74 percent. The state is not going to pay absolutely any interest, it’s not going to pay any kind of penalty and is going to fulfill all its international obligations,” Attorney General Pablo Menacho told reporters.
Public Works Minister Milton Claros and Menacho signed the agreement during a ceremony at the airport in the central city of Cochabamba attended by Spanish Ambassador to Bolivia Angel Vazquez.
Abertis filed an arbitration claim against Bolivia for $85.5 million, but negotiations between the parties resulted in a compensation agreement for just 26 percent of the total, Menacho said.
Abertis agreed to drop its arbitration claim and the government retains “its proprietary right to Bolivian aviation and airport assets,” the AG said.
Abertis executives Josep Maria Coronas and Sergi Loughney attended the ceremony, but they did not comment on the agreement.
President Evo Morales expropriated Sabsa, in which Abertis had a 90 percent stake and Aena held a 10 percent interest, four years ago.
Sabsa operated the airports in La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz, the three largest aviation facilities in Bolivia.