Spanish construction giant OHL is "happy and comfortable" with its business in Mexico and sees its court battle with the state of Puebla as an "isolated incident," company CFO Enrique Weickert said here Tuesday.
"We believe what has happened in Puebla is very specific and very singular. We will continue doing things in absolutely the same way," the executive said at a meeting with analysts in Madrid.
A Mexican judge agreed in May to hear a lawsuit filed by OHL Mexico against the state of Puebla for revoking the firm's concession to build and operate a highway.
The company went to court after the Puebla government's May 9 decision to cancel the deal with OHL for the 35-kilometer (22-mile) Libramiento Norte De Puebla highway, OHL Mexico said.
Construction work had been scheduled to begin in May.
Puebla officials said they revoked the concession under the legal concept of "recovering a public good" after finding it was awarded in March 2008 without a competitive bidding process.
"It's an isolated incident," Weickert said Tuesday of OHL's dispute with Puebla. "We have no risk at all of contagion, because the other concession we have in Mexico does not share these problems."
Whatever the outcome, the company does not expect the Puebla case to have any material effect on the fortunes of OHL Mexico or the parent corporation in Spain, he said.
He pointed out that the sharp drop in OHL Mexico's share price on the Mexican stock exchange following Puebla's cancelation of the contract is already "dissipating."
"We believe we will be adequately compensated for the investment and expenditures we have made and, thus, we don't expect it (the Puebla deal) to have an impact on the company's accounts," Weickert told the analysts. EFE