Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Sunday nationalized Fertinitro, a large fertilizer plant part-owned by private U.S. company Koch and Saipem , a subsidiary of Italy's Eni .
Chavez, a socialist who has put large swathes of the OPEC member country's economy into state hands, also announced the nationalization of Venezuelan motor lubricants company Venoco.
"Expropriate it." Chavez said on his weekly television show.
Last month, Fitch Ratings maintained Fertinitro Finance's $250 million 2020 bonds at 'CCC' on rating watch negative.
"Fertinitro, located in the Jose Petrochemical Complex in Venezuela, ranks as one of the world's largest nitrogen-based fertilizer plants, with nameplate daily production capacity of 3,600 tonnes of ammonia and 4,400 tonnes of urea," the Fitch report said.
Venezuela's state petrochemicals firm Pequiven holds 35 percent of Fertinitro, a Koch Industries subsidiary holds 35 percent and Saipem holds 20 percent. Another 10 percent is owned by Venezuela brewer and food firm Polar, Fitch said.
Chavez has stepped up nationalizations since his Socialist Party won a reduced majority in a legislative election in September. Last week the government took over agricultural supplies firm Agroislena.
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