SA’s PPC rejects Fairfax offer, AfriSam merger as Dangote remains alert

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  • PPC board says Fairfax offer not fair and reasonable
  • Talks with CRH and LafargeHolcim continue
  •  PPC shares up more than 2 pct (Adds details, share price, background)
  • Nigeria’s Dangote stays alert on possible acquisition

By Nqobile Dludla

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 22- South African cement producer PPC’s board on Wednesday turned its back on a takeover attempt by AfriSam, backed by Canadian firm Fairfax Africa Investments, but PCC said it was still talking to Ireland’s CRH and Swiss group LafargeHolcim.

PPC has been a takeover target on-and-off for several years, with local-based AfriSam, Nigeria’s Dangote Cement Irish building materials firm CRH and Switzerland’s LafargeHolcim all interested in it.

But in a move anticipated by analysts, PPC’s independent board said it had advised Fairfax that it will not be recommending the Canadian company’s partial offer to shareholders and that it will not convene a general meeting to approve the proposed merger by AfriSam.

“The Independent Expert … is of the opinion that the partial offer, both in the context of the proposed merger as well as on a stand-alone basis, is not fair and reasonable,” PPC said in a statement.

Fairfax offered to buy 22 percent of PPC in September for 5.75 rand per share, or 2 billion rand ($144 million), on condition that it was approved by shareholders in order to allow AfriSam’s merger plan.

PPC, which has operations in six countries across Africa, said the board took into account the cement producer’s own valuation work, forecasts and recent financial and business performance as well as feedback from shareholders.

Shares in PPC, which has a market capitalisation of 10.29 billion rand and had net debt of 4.7 billion rand at the end of March, were up 2.47 percent to 6.63 rand by 1248 GMT.

It said it will continue its engagements with CRH and LafargeHolcim. ($1 = 13.9172 rand)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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