PPC shares fall as Sibiya retires as chairman
According to iol, shares in PPC dropped yesterday morning after the listed cement and lime producer reported that chairman Bheki Sibiya was steeping down without anyone to replace him.
PPC shares fell by as much as 7.76 percent before recovering in the afternoon session to close 4.24 percent higher on the day at R12.77, which valued the company at R7.7 billion.
Sibiya’s decision to stand down was not unexpected, but the failure of PPC to announce a new chairman was not well received by the market, particularly as he had indicated in 2014 that he intended to step down as both chairman and a member of the board once stability had been established.
This followed the resignation of then chief executive Ketso Gordhan and the board’s refusal of a request from Gordhan to be reinstated.
This resulted in disgruntled shareholders led by Foord Asset Management and supported by Visio Capital Management and Nedbank Private Wealth, submitting a request to PPC’s board to call a general meeting about the proposed removal of the then board.
In a statement issued by PPC after its general meeting yesterday, the company acknowledged that Sibiya had ensured board continuity and the preservation of corporate expertise “during a challenging phase in the company’s history”.
Sibiya, who has served as chairman of PPC’s board since November 2008, reiterated that he had always said he would retire once a stable board had been bedded down.
“I have every confidence in the board as it stands and the management team under the leadership of Mr Darryll Castle,” he added.
PPC said the process of appointing a successor to Sibiya was far progressed and the board expected to make an announcement soon.
Azola Lowan, the executive for investor relations and strategy at PPC, declined to comment on the reason for PPC being unable to announce a new chairman at the general meeting.
Sibonginkosi Nyanga, an analyst at Imara SP Reid, admitted that it was “a bit odd” that PPC had not announced a new chairman.
Nyanga said other people were not privy to what was discussed when PPC reached the settlement with Foord in 2014. “You’d expect a seamless process. It cannot take two years to decide who will be the next chairman,” he said.