STXNEWS LATAM-Siderar confirms dividend after lawsuit dropped

Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:35am EDT

Argentine steelmaker Siderar (SID.BA) will pay shareholders a dividend of 1.5 billion pesos (about $350 million) on Sept. 2 after getting confirmation the state pensions agency, Anses, dropped a lawsuit aimed at blocking the payment.

The news pushed Siderar's shares up 8.6 percent at, while the benchmark MerVal .MERV was flat.

Siderar had been at odds with the government since April, when President Cristina Fernandez tightened control over leading companies by scrapping limits on Anses's voting rights on private boards of directors.

Siderar challenged the government decree in court and resisted the pension agency's expanded presence on its board. At the same time, the government sued to block the dividend payment for 2010, saying the shareholders' meeting should be declared void. This was upheld by the country's stock market regulator and a local court.

Last month, the two sides made peace, with Anses increasing the number of its representatives on Siderar's board to three from one. A July 21 shareholders meeting then voted to approve the stalled dividend payment.

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