Venezuelan authorities said they were reactivating a Kellogg Co K.N plant under worker control on Wednesday, a day after the USA multinational food producer pulled out of the crisis-hit country.
In children's breakfast cereals, it ranked first with a 60% value share, with Kellogg's Zucaritas commanding a 31% value share and Kellogg's Froot Loops and Kellogg's Choco Krispies controlling a combined 30% share. Zeus Exchange, which Druzhkov created alongside a Kremlin-connected industrialist, said in a statement that it has never had any business ties with the Venezuelan government and that Druzhkov resigned after abusing his authority. Socialist President Nicolas Maduro's government also stops companies from raising prices to keep up with hyperinflation, denting profits and sometimes rendering operations unsustainable.
Evrofinance and its executives didn't return repeated email requests for comment. Workers said they were prevented from entering the plant in the central city of Maracay on Tuesday.
The closure is not expected to significantly worsen food shortages in Venezuela, but it was a further blow to morale for many Venezuelans as Kellogg's is the most popular and available cereal in the country.
The move by the multinational was a typical one in Venezuela after years of economic crisis. They include Bridgestone, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Colgate, Kimberly-Clark, General Mills, General Motors and Harvest Natural Resources.
Speaking to supporters ahead of Sunday's presidential election - which the worldwide community has condemned as a "sham" for not offering any non-socialist options - leftist dictator Nicolás Maduro described the move as "unconstitutional".
President Maduro, who has been in office since 2013, blames Venezuela's problems on an "economic war" being waged by foreign governments and businesses.
In the past, his government has taken over the factories of some companies that have left the country.
Kellogg said product distribution in Venezuela has been suspended and the license agreement for the use and commercialization of its brands and characters in Venezuela has been terminated.