"The Chávez government nationalised several industries in 2007 and 2008. The nation's largest private electricity producer, 82-percent owned by US-based AES Corp, was obtained by paying $740 million to AES for its share – fair compensation according to Reuters news agency. In 2008, cement production was largely nationalised, with Venezuelan-located plants belonging to Mexico's Cemex, Switzerland's Holcim, and France's Lafarge being bought by the government. Compensations of $552 million for Holcim and $267 million for Lafarge were agreed upon, with both of those companies agreeing to stay on as minority partners and retaining 10 to 15 percent shares; the takeover from Cemex was less friendly and compensation had not been agreed on as of March 2009. According to Chávez, the cement plants were exporting cement that was needed in Venezuela, because they could obtain higher prices outside Venezuela. In 2007 the main telephone company, CANTV, was nationalised by buying US-based Verizon Communications' 28.5 percent share for $572 million – fair compensation according to Reuters. In 2008 Chávez ordered the halting of the construction of a mega-shopping mall, in downtown Caracas by Sambil company, saying that it was inappropriate development in an already overcrowded, over-trafficked area. He suggested the land would be nationalized and turned into a hospital or university. In 2008 the Venezuelan government nationalized the leading steel company, Argentine-controlled Sidor, following months of strikes and labour-managemnet disputes. A food plant owned by US giant Cargill was nationalised in early 2009."