Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

CRH pulls plug on PPC takeover

Conrad Doyle | 07 December, 2017, 14:11

Last month, CRH made an undisclosed cash bid for PPC and had been given time for due diligence and to submit an updated bid, but CRH has now opted to drop its interest in PPC.

However, on Thursday PPC said CRH had now decided not to pursue the deal.

Fairfax has set a R2bn limit to the number of shares it is willing to buy, and has made it a condition that PPC merge with AfriSam. However, regulations allow Fairfax until December 12 to post its partial offer circular. It has committed 3 billion euros of that to buying Ash Grove Cement Co and a further $750 million on other cement acquisitions in Florida.

According to Davy analysts, CRH's strategic priority remains its end-markets in Europe and North America so a deal for PPC was always a low probability.

At 0930 GMT, CRH shares were up 1.7% to 2,624p.

Swiss-based multinational LafargeHolcim is also still talking to PPC about a potential bid.

CRH is now on a buying spree, in October the company agreed a $3.5bn (€3bn) deal for US-based Ash Grove Cement, after buying German lime and aggregates producer Fels for €600m in August.

PPC last month reported a 36 percent rise in half-year earnings, helped by a robust performance in Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

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