Chavez orders expropriation of Venezuela's largest steel maker

President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday ordered the expropriation of Venezuela's largest steel maker. His government will turn Siderurgica del Orinoco into "a socialist company," Chavez told workers gathered for a televised event at a Caracas theater. Sidor, as the company is known, was previously controlled by Luxembourg-based Ternium SA. Chavez announced plans to nationalize Sidor earlier this month. Venezuelan officials had been talking with Ternium representatives to reach a deal for its 60 percent stake in Sidor, but the two sides were unable to reach an agreement. Chavez said the company demanded excessive compensation for its share. Sidor, a former state company, was privatized in 1998.