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Dangote emerges as bidder for PPC

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World Cement,

Lagos-based Dangote Cement, which is owned by Africa’s richest man, has launched a bid for South African cement producer, PPC. The bid – which had been widely rumoured to be in the offing – opens up a potential bidding war for PPC, which is also negotiating a merger with Afrisam.

“PPC would like to confirm that it has received a non-binding communication of interest from Dangote Cement with respect to the acquisition of the entire share capital of PPC,” the company told the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

PPC said it would provide further information on Dangote’s bid when it had concluded its consideration of the Nigerian firm’s proposal.

The bid places Dangote in competition with Afrisam, a smaller South African cement producer, which is backed by capital from Canada’s Fairfax Africa Investments.

A previous statement by PPC indicated that there were two other trade bidders, in addition to AfriSam. With Dangote emerging as one of these, speculation remains around the identity of a third potential bidder.

“One of PPC’s earlier announcements indicated that two other trade bidders with a ‘pan-African’ presence were interested, so I think that limits it to a few. ARM Cement and Heidelberg are two names, besides Dangote Cement, that spring to mind,” Mish-al Emeran of Electus Fund Managers told South African newspaper, Business Day.

LafargeHolcim, which recently combined its Nigerian and South African operations to form Lafarge Africa, is also said to be monitoring the situation.

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