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CRH moves on PPC

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World Cement,

Ireland-based building materials major, CRH, has entered the bidding for South African cement maker, PPC. CHR joins fellow major, LafargeHolcim, and AfriSam, whose original bid began the tussle for control of PPC.

According to a PPC announcement to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, CRH is “considering submitting an all-cash proposal to acquire a controlling stake in PPC.”

PPC’s independent board has given CRH until the week of 20 November to submit an updated expression of interest, including a value per share for PPC. LafargeHolcim has until the same date to submit its firm offer.

If successful in its bid for PPC, it would be the first foray into the African building materials market for CRH, a company that traditionally focuses on markets in Europe and North America.

In contrast, LafargeHolcim already has an extensive African business, while AfriSam, whose bid for PPC is backed by Canadian investment fund, Fairfax, is the second-largest South African cement producer. Nigeria-based Dangote Group had also expressed an interest in PPC, although it officially withdrew from the process in October.

Headquartered in Dublin, CRH is one of the largest global diversified building materials suppliers with a market capitalisation of US$27 billion. In addition to the PPC bid, CRH recently agreed to take over the largest independent cement production in the US, Ash Grove Cement, for US$3.5 billion.

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