Dangote Cement Plc, Africa’s biggest producer of cement, has expressed interest in acquiring Kenyan rival, ARM Cement Limited, Bloomberg said it gathered from people knowledgeable about the development yesterday.
Vanguard reports that Aliko Dangote, owner of Dangote Cement, said in an interview with Bloomberg that the company is in talks about a potential acquisition of a company with operations in Kenya and Tanzania. While he didn’t identify the company, ARM has assets in both countries, as does Switzerland-based LafargeHolcim Ltd.
ARM has been exploring a sale since at least October 2017. The company, part-owned by CDC Group Plc, was placed in administration in August after failing to find a strategic investor to help it manage debts of $141 million. Also, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters that Dangote Cement was approached about a potential transaction by advisers to the debt-laden ARM Cement.
The source said Dangote Cement has not conducted due diligence on ARM Cement. Dangote Cement first signalled its interest in ARM last year and renewed its attention after management of the company was handed over to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Kenyan unit, said two of the people. ARM’s creditors in October approved the sale of some assets to cut debt. The creditors did not identify which subsidiary or assets would be sold, or the possible value of a sale, under a rescue plan, designed to keep the company operational. Dangote Cement spokesman Carl Franklin declined to comment and PWC administrator George Weru said he couldn’t immediately comment when contacted.