By Alois Vinga
LISTED cement manufacturer, Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe’s major shareholder, Associated International Cement Limited (AICL), has declined an offer which could have resulted in it surrendering its 76,45% stake.
In an update Wednesday, Lafarge advised its shareholders and members of the investing public on the withdrawal of an earlier cautionary announcement dated April 19 2022 which was issued soon after the offer was made.
“The Associated International Cement Limited (AICL) has not accepted an offer for its 76,45% stake in the company and is still assessing the offers received for its stake in the Company.
“The transaction, if successfully concluded, was going to have a material effect on the Company’s securities.
“Accordingly shareholders and members of the investing public are advised to continue exercising caution when dealing in the Company’s securities until a full announcement is made,” the company said.
Market speculation hints that the Zimbabwean unit is expected to be sold to a Chinese investor, Huaxin Cement.
Huaxin bought 75% of Lafarge Zambia for US$150 million and gobbled US$10 million to purchase Pan African Cement from Lafarge Malawi late last year.
In 2020 the company bought Tanzania’s Marvini Limestone for US$145 million.
Holcim Limited , a French Company under whose ownership falls the Lafarge Cement Zimbabwe in February this year told Bloomberg that they are constantly evaluating possibilities to align their portfolio with a vision to open new growth opportunities.
LCZ is one of the country’s largest cement producers which has been boosting its investment on the back of rising cement demand and in 2021, the company launched a US$2,8 million Dry Morta project designed to scale production from 7 000 tons to 100 000 tons per year.