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Dangote Is Said to Mull Offer for PPC as Bidding War Looms

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  • Dangote Is Said to Mull Offer for PPC as Bidding War Looms

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, is among those considering counter offers for PPC Group Ltd. that could signal a bidding contest for South Africa’s largest cement maker, according to people familiar with the matter.

Dangote Cement Plc sees a bid for the Johannesburg-based company as a way to accelerate expansion outside its home market of Nigeria, said the people, who asked not to be named as the matter is private. PPC will consider any rival offers to the joint approach by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and domestic rival AfriSam Group Pty Ltd. and present them to shareholders in early October, one of the people said.

PPC shares jumped 2.3 percent to 6.34 rand as of 12:11 p.m. in Johannesburg, the highest level since May 2. That values the company at 10 billion rand ($780 million).

LafargeHolcim Ltd., the world’s biggest cement maker based in Jona, Switzerland, and Germany’s HeidelbergCement AG are also monitoring PPC’s situation, the people said. Titan Cement Co. SA of Greece is looking at the South African company, according to one of the people. The cement makers’ interest was sparked after Toronto-based Fairfax offered to buy 2 billion rand of PPC’s shares and support a merger with AfriSam earlier this week, the people said. The proposal “significantly undervalued” the business, PPC said at the time.

A spokesman for Dangote didn’t comment. Spokespeople for LafargeHolcim, HeidelbergCement, Titan, Fairfax and PPC declined to comment.

Unexpected Entrance

The future ownership of PPC is up for grabs after merger talks with AfriSam failed for a second time last month following two-and-a-half years of on-off negotiations. Both companies have been struggling with high debt levels, which Fairfax offered to resolve with its unexpected entrance to the saga this week. The Toronto-based company said it would recapitalize AfriSam, enabling it to settle outstanding loans, and buy 2 billion rand worth of PPC shares at 5.75 rand each.

PPC’s current share price of 6.34 rand suggests investors expect a higher offer to emerge.

The Fairfax proposal would give the Canadian company a stake of more than 30 percent stake in the combined entity, said two of the people. The value of the bid would rise when savings generated by sharing PPC and AfriSam infrastructure are taken into account, they said.

The Public Investment Corp., the biggest shareholder in both PPC and AfriSam, would prefer a higher cash component of more than 6 rand a share, the people said, adding that Fairfax hasn’t ruled out increasing its offer.

Dangote has been expanding out of Nigeria, its biggest market, and has operations in 14 other African countries. Aliko Dangote, who also has interests in sugar, flour and packaged food businesses, has a net worth of $11.4 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Dangote would be open to a sale of all or part of its Pretoria-based Sephaku Holdings Ltd. unit to win regulatory approval for a takeover, two of the people said.

Separately, PPC said it had reduced capital expenditure targets for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The company sees spending of as much as 900 million rand in year through March 2018, rising to as much as 1 billion rand the following year, PPC said in a presentation to investors on Friday. The cement maker also said debt would probably fall in the current year.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

South Africa’s iGas, PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund Merge to Create South African National Petroleum Company

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The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the merger of Central Energy Fund (CEF) subsidiaries iGas, PetroSA and the Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF).

The merger will be effective from 1 April 2021 and the new company will be called the South African National Petroleum Company.

The merger, driven by the pursuit of implementing a new company that has a streamlined operating model via the development of a shared services system and a common information platform, comes a few months after cabinet approval and the confirmation that PetroSA had incurred losses of R20 billion since 2014.

Additional factors which prompted the move included the determination to strengthen PetroSA which had not had a permanent CEO in five years prior to the appointment of CEO Ishmael Poolo last and, had become majorly ungainful since its failure to secure gas for the gas-to-liquids refinery project in Mossel Bay.

While the merger deadline has been set, the portfolio committee expressed reservations to the department’s likelihood of meeting the deadline, considering the existing legislative regime, pending issues raised in the SFF and PetroSA forensic reports, as well as PetroSA’s current insolvency and liquidity challenges, the official press statement on the briefing revealed.

“South Africa’s energy sector is entering a new dawn,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “With gas discoveries off the coast and the announcement of the REIPPP programme bid window 5 and 6 on the horizon, now is the most opportune time for the merger of the CEF subsidiaries. Of course, it is not an easy task and delays may be anticipated but, this move signals a real change towards a meaningful strategy that will not only be beneficial to the DMRE but to potential investors and local development as well.”

The African Energy Chamber welcomes this move and acknowledges that this is yet another step supporting the country’s determination to restarting the engines of sustainable growth and the transformation of energy policy and infrastructure.

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Crude Oil Hits $71.34 After Saudi Largest Oil Facilities Were Attacked

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Brent Crude Oil Rises to $71.34 Following Missile Attack on Saudi Largest Oil Facilities

Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, jumped to $71.34 a barrel on Monday during the Asian trading session following a report that Saudi Arabia’s largest oil facilities were attacked by missiles and drones fired on Sunday by Houthi military in Yemen.

On Monday, the Saudi energy ministry said one of the world’s largest offshore oil loading facilities at Ras Tanura was attacked and a ballistic missile targeted Saudi Aramco facilities.

One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone, coming from the sea,” the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

It also stated that shrapnel from a ballistic missile dropped near Aramco’s residential compound in Eastern Dhahran.

Such acts of sabotage do not only target the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but also the security and stability of energy supplies to the world, and therefore, the global economy,” a ministry spokesman said in a statement on state media.

Oil price surged because the market interpreted the occurrence as supply sabotage given Saudi is the largest OPEC producer. A decline in supply is positive for the oil industry.

However, Brent crude oil pulled back to $69.49 per barrel at 12:34 pm Nigerian time because of the $1.9 trillion stimulus packed passed in the U.S.

Market experts are projecting that the stimulus will boost the United States economy and support U.S crude oil producers in the near-term, this they expect to boost crude oil production from share and disrupt OPEC strategy.

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A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

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Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.

Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.

A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.

One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.

However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.

 

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