Business Hilights
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Continental cement merchant, Dangote eyeing South Africa’s cement company

Leading industrialist and emerging continental cement conglomerate investor, Aliko Dangote, has been linked to a fresh move to buy into PPC Group Limited, by way of counteroffers to bid for South Africa’s largest cement company.

A credible source in the know of the emerging deal revealed weekend, that Dangote Cement Plc sees a bid for the Johannesburg-based company as a way to deepen its ongoing Africa wide cement solutions investment.

Business Hilights recalls that Dangote Cement had made several successful investment inroads to African cement market including Senegal, Zambia and other.

Analysts say PPC may consider any rival offers to the joint approach by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited and domestic rival, AfriSam Group Pty Limited, and present them to shareholders in early October, one of the people said.

This is coming as PPC shares jumped by 2.9 per cent to 6.38 rand as of 3:30pm in Johannesburg on Friday, on track for the highest on a closing basis since April 25. That values the company at 10.2 billion rand ($792m).

LafargeHolcim Limited, the world’s biggest cement maker based in Jona, Switzerland, and Germany’s HeidelbergCement AG are also monitoring PPC’s situation, another source hinted weekend.

Besides, Titan Cement Co. SA of Greece is looking at the South African company, according to one of the people. The cement makers’ interest was sparked after Toronto-based Fairfax offered to buy 2 billion rand of PPC’s shares and support a merger with AfriSam earlier this week, the people said. The proposal “significantly undervalued” the business, PPC said at the time.

But whereas publicists of Dangote, LafargeHolcim, HeidelbergCement, Titan, Fairfax and PPC declined to give official positions, observers say the future ownership of PPC is up for grabs considering the recent collapse of merger talks with AfriSam for a second time last month.