South Africa: Negotiations between PPC and AfriSam, two of South Africa's biggest cement producers, about a potential merger have reached a make-or-break stage, according to local press, after AfriSam cancelled the heads of terms it had entered into with PPC back in February 2017.
Despite the cancellation of the heads of terms, AfriSam acting chief executive Rob Wessels said the company remained committed to pursuing a transaction and intended to submit a new proposal regarding a possible merger to PPC.
"AfriSam remains firm that a transaction between AfriSam and PPC will greatly benefit the stakeholders of both companies. For this reason, we continue discussions with PPC and will explore other alternatives available to us,” said Wessels. "It remains our belief that a transaction between the two companies offers the local cement industry an opportunity to develop a champion with the required scale, operational efficiency and balance sheet to enable further investment opportunities in South Africa and the rest of the continent."
However, PPC chairperson Peter Nelson said they had been involved in the negotiations for six months and there came a time when it was necessary to halt them. Nelson added that the negotiations would only continue beyond 1 September 2017 if the new proposal tabled by AfriSam was ‘of sufficient interest and attraction and fair to shareholders and warranted extending’ the negotiations. "We can't carry on forever,” said Nelson. “A lot of shareholders are frightened about the prospect.”