CRH withdraws from bidding for South African cement maker PPC

PPC still talking to Swiss cement maker LafargeHolcim, it says

CRH said in August it had around €5 billion in cash to spend on mergers and acquisitions over the next 18-24 months.  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

CRH said in August it had around €5 billion in cash to spend on mergers and acquisitions over the next 18-24 months. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

Irish cement producer CRH, the world’s third-largest building materials supplier by market value, had decided not to bid for rival PPC the South African company said on Thursday.

Last month, CRH made an undisclosed cash bid for PPC and had been given time for due diligence and to submit an updated bid.

“CRH has decided not to submit an updated expression of interest and therefore considers it appropriate to withdraw from the Independent Board’s process,” PPC said in a statement.

PPC last month turned its back on a takeover attempt by AfriSam, backed by Canada’s Fairfax Africa. However, regulations allow Fairfax until December 12th to post its partial offer circular.

PCC, which has been a consolidation target on-and-off for several years, said it was still talking to Swiss company LafargeHolcim.

CRH said in August it had around €5 billion in cash to spend on mergers and acquisitions over the next 18-24 months. It has committed €3 billion of that to buying Ash Grove Cement.

Shares in PPC, which has a market capitalisation of 11.02 billion rand (€688 million) and had net debt of 4.4 billion rand at the end of September, were down 4.21 per cent at 6.60 rand by the opening of European markets. CRH’s stock was up 1 per cent at 39.60 euros.

PPC last month reported a 36 per cent rise in half-year earnings, helped by robust performance in Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

– Reuters