Collapsed merger ‘will not hobble AfriSam’
AfriSam says it will continue to defend its share of SA’s cement market and expand production capacity further into Africa, after PPC halted merger talks last week.
There is poor demand and significant overcapacity in local markets and there is also speculation that Germany’s HeidelbergCement group, the world’s third largest, may be eyeing PPC.
Dr Olivier said AfriSam, did not need the PPC merger to survive intense competition in the domestic industry, along with rising cement imports from Pakistan.
Steadily rising energy, transport and wage input costs for cement producers could have been offset by a merger and helped fend off international competitors.
”It is common knowledge that the South African cement industry and construction industry as a whole is taking a bit of pain,” he said.
Dr Olivier said unlisted AfriSam was “not heavily indebted, and had the same aspirations” as PPC – to become a South African cement champion in Africa.
AfriSam already derived ±30% of profits from the rest of Africa, and was establishing a second cement plant in Tanzania.