PPC cement says CRH withdraws bid for controlling stake
South African cement producer PPC said on Thursday Irish building materials firm CRH had withdrawn its cash bid for a controlling stake in the firm.
PPC said in November it had received a non-binding expression of interest from CRH that it was considering submitting an all-cash proposal to buy a controlling stake.
The independent board of PPC had permitted CRH to conduct an initial due diligence of PPC in order that it may submit an updated expression of interest which would include a value per share for PPC.
"PPC shareholders are advised that on 4 December 2017, CRH formally advised PPC that CRH has decided not to submit an updated expression of interest and therefore considers it appropriate to withdraw from the Independent Board’s process," the cement maker said on Thursday.
CRH was competing with South African rival Afrisam and Switzerland’s Lafarge Holcim for PPC’s controlling stake.
CRH is the world’s third-largest building materials supplier by market capitalisation, behind Lafarge Holcim and France’s Saint Gobain.
AfriSam, which has made three attempts to merge with PPC to create a pan-African cement group with assets across six countries, launched a new all-share bid that valued PPC at about R9.2 billion in September.
PPC has become an attractive investment for many companies and has seen various expressions of interest, with Nigeria’s Dangote Cement having approached it in September about a tie-up while Canada’s Fairfax Africa is backing Afrisam’s bid.
The regional unit of Fairfax made a partial offer to buy PPC shares for R2 billion.
PPC has advised shareholders to exercise caution when dealing in its securities.