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JOHANNESBURG, Oct 27 (Reuters) - South Africa’s biggest cement producer PPC said on Friday it had received an expression of interest from LafargeHolcim which is planning a combination of some of its African assets.
PPC, which has operations in six countries in Africa, has previously received interest for its assets from other bidders looking to expand in the region.
PPC said LafargeHolcim was expected to submit a firm offer in November as it contemplates a deal which could include a partial cash offer and a special dividend to PPC shareholders.
PPC said it would provide further details of the proposed combination if there was a firm offer.
South African cement maker AfriSam has made three attempts to merge with PPC to create a pan-African cement group with assets across six countries. AfriSam is backed by the African unit of Canada’s Fairfax Africa Holdings .
The regional unit of Fairfax made a partial offer to buy PPC shares for 2 billion rand ($140 million) subject to PPC shareholders agreeing to a tie-up with its nearest unlisted rival AfriSam.
PPC said the Fairfax partial offer would still proceed.
Dangote Cement said last week it was still interested in acquiring PPC and would do a deal at the right price.
Dangote, which said in September it was interested in buying all of PPC’s shares, later withdrew saying it did not want to get into a lengthy process with an uncertain outcome.
PPC previously said if none of the offers from the prospective bidders materialised and if the AfriSam merger did not go ahead, it could continue as a standalone business.
“Regardless of the outcome of the concurrent processes now underway, we believe that PPC is a solid business in its own right,” Chairman of PPC Peter Nelson said in a statement.
Shares in PPC rose more than 6 percent at the market open before paring gains to be 4.37 percent higher at 6.93 rand by 0741 GMT. ($1 = 14.3151 rand) (Reporting by Tanisha Heiberg; editing by Jason Neely and Jane Merriman)
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