Business

Holcim loses Bataan port dispute, ordered to pay P588M to Ramon Atayde’s Seasia

Holcim Philippines Inc. suffered a big blow in its two-year dispute with Seasia Nectar Port Services, Inc. led by businessman Ramon Atayde.

The Philippine Arbitral Tribunal, formed by the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center, Inc. to resolve the dispute, ordered Holcim to honor its contracts with Seasia which built the dry bulk terminal in Mariveles, Bataan for the cement giant’s use for up to least 10 years.

In its September 14 order, the Arbitral Tribunal declared that while Holcim validly terminated the port services agreement (PSA) with Seasia, “the memorandum of agreement (MOA), which required Holcim and Seasia to enter into the PSA after certain conditions had been fulfilled, was not superseded with the execution of the PSA and, thus, continued to govern Seasia and Holcim even after Holcim’s termination of the PSA.”

This means Holcim has to compensate Atayde’s firm as a result of the suspension of the MOA.

Seasia was given two options for compensation:

1) Get P588,379,260.00, net of value added tax, from Holcim representing its minimum revenues during the period that the MOA had been suspended since 2018;

2) Get a two-year extension of the MOA for a total remaining term of seven years and ten and a half months.

Holcim was also required to reimburse Seasia for the P21.961 million it spent for the dispute body.

Holcim declared that the order would not have a material effect on its operations.

It was Holcim which sought the intervention of the arbitration court to settle the PSA termination which was the subject of the case filed by Seasia before the Regional Trial Court of Bataan, Branch 95. The court ordered the garnishment of Holcim’s P1.878 billion account in Metrobank during the trial.

Seasia signed the deal when Holcim was still led by its president, Ed Sahagun, The dispute erupted when Sahagun retired and the new president, John Stull, unilaterally terminated the contract “pursuant to its no-fault termination rights under the said agreement.”

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