PPC’s stake in Habesha increased to 51%

06 November 2014

PPC says it has bought the Industrial Development Corporation’s 20% stake in Ethiopia-based Habesha Cement Share Company for $13m, raising its share from 27% to 51%.

Habesha has begun construction of a 1.4-million-tonnes-a-year facility 35 km northwest of Addis Ababa. This will cost about $135m with commissioning slated to begin in 2016.

“We are very excited about our increased investment in Ethiopia; a country with a population of 91-million people and which has a growth rate expected to remain above 8% in the medium term,” PPC’s executive chairman Bheki Sibiya said on Wednesday.

He said this acquisition was part of PPC’s growth strategy into Africa. PPC also has projects in Rwanda, the DRC and Zimbabwe with construction under way.

But PPC’s foray into Africa has been put under severe pressure by the abrupt resignation in late September of former CEO Ketso Gordhan.

Late in October three shareholders holding 10% of the company’s shares had requested a general meeting to consider removing the board and electing persons nominated by stakeholders.

Foord Asset Management has led calls for a new board to be installed to direct the company’s expansion into Africa.

By Mark Allix

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