Dangote Cement Plc, Nigeria’s most capitalized quoted company and Africa’s largest cement producer, at the weekend stepped down from its much-publicised bid to acquire the share capital of PPC Limited-a South African leading cement firm.
In a regulatory filing at the weekend, Dangote Cement board of directors stated that it has notified PPC board of directors that it no longer has an interest in acquiring the South African firm’s share capital.
Dangote Cement had last month confirmed that it had 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.
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.
With annual capacity of 11.5 million tonnes of cement products, PPC’s 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.
Two 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.
Moody’s assigned three respective high ratings to the cement company, including a first time Ba3 Local Currency Corporate Family Rating (CFR), Ba3-PD Probability of Default Rating and Aaa.ng National Scale Rating (NSR).
Global Credit Ratings assigned long-term and short-term national scale issuer ratings of AA+ (NG) and A1+ (NG) respectively to Dangote Cement.
Assistant Vice President and Lead Analyst for Dangote Cement at Moody’s, Douglas Rowlings, said the ratings reflected Dangote Cement’s “strong standalone credit profile and track record of demonstrated financial support from a larger and more diversified parent, Dangote Industries Limited”.
Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Cement Plc, Onne van der Weijde, noted that the ratings highlight the financial strength the company had achieved through unwavering focus on the profitable expansion of its business.