Business Hilights
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Finally, Dangote withdraws interest in S’African cement group

After several wait for green light, Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s largest cement producer, has signaled withdrawal of interest from its bid to acquire the share capital of PPC Limited-a South African leading cement firm.

Late last month, Dangote Cement had owned up, saying it has initiated a bid to acquire the entire share capital of PPC Limited. It, however, noted that the acquisition talks were still at the preliminary stage and the transaction remained a potential one, contrary to reference to the talks in some quarters as ongoing.

Details gathered about the South African company showed that with annual capacity of 11.5 million tonnes of cement products, its materials business comprise Safika Cement, Pronto Readymix (including Ulula Ash) and 3Q Mahuma Concrete. Its footprint in the readymix sector has grown to include 26 batching plants across South Africa and Mozambique.

Also, PPC produces aggregates; with its Mooiplaas aggregates quarry in Gauteng, having the largest aggregate production capacity in South Africa. PPC Lime, one of the largest lime producers in the southern hemisphere, produces metallurgical-grade lime, burnt dolomite and limestone.

PPC is closely linked to the growth and development of South Africa as it has produced cement for many of the country’s most famous landmarks and construction projects.

Dangote Cement board of directors vide a regulatory filing weekend, indicated that it has notified PPC board of directors that it no longer has an interest in acquiring the South African firm’s share capital.

Established in 1892 as De Eerste Cement Fabrieken Beperkt, PPC is a leading supplier of cement and related products in southern Africa. It has 11 cement factories in South Africa, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Zimbabwe.

Though real details on Dangote’s loss of interest in the deal are scanty, Business Hilights recalls that recently, two leading global rating agencies, Moody’s Investors Service and Global Credit Ratings (GCR), recently rated Dangote Cement high for its financial strength and corporate outlook. In rating reports, both global rating agencies described the outlook of the Africa’s largest cement producer as stable.