Venezuela seizes Kellogg cereal factory after closure

Henri Falcon showing a US$100 bill

US -based cereal maker Kellogg Co K.N on Tuesday pulled out of Venezuela due to the country's deep economic crisis, and an angry President Nicolas Maduro said its units would be taken over and given to workers.

According to Euromonitor, Alimentos Kellogg dominated the breakfast cereals sector in Venezuela past year with a 50% retail value share.

President Nicolas Maduro, who is standing for re-election, told a rally that he would hand control of the factory over to the workers.

"We've begun judicial proceedings against the business leaders of Kellogg's because their exit is unconstitutional".

President Nicolas Maduro, who has previously accused the USA of waging economic war against his government, called the closure "absolutely unconstitutional and illegal".

Kellogg k said Tuesday it will discontinue operations in Venezuela immediately, blaming the country's "economic and social deterioration", the company said in an emailed statement.

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Poor access to raw materials and scarce dollars to import goods due to currency controls impaired Kellogg's ability to operate its Venezuelan subsidiary, the company said in February.

The company's local operations had around 400 workers, according to local media.

"Maduro is giving away everything he can because these countries' backing, especially from Cuba, is all the political support he has left", a former top Venezuelan government official told Reuters on the condition of anonymity.

In 2016, Venezuela's government took over a plant belonging to US-based hygiene products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark after it announced it was stopping operations because it could not obtain raw materials.

In family breakfast cereals, Kellogg's Corn Flakes also held the leading position in 2017 with a 46% value share.

It said it hoped to return to Venezuela in the future and warned against sales of its brands "without the expressed authorisation of the Kellogg Company".

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