Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) Company Limited, South Africa’s largest cement maker, is reportedly considering selling its Zimbabwe business for about $200 million.
A sale will help the company, founded in 1892, to focus on its South African operations, according to Engineering News.
Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity said discussions are at an early stage.
Pricing negotiations are said to be ongoing, and there is no guarantee that a deal will go ahead.
In responses to questions by Bloomberg, the company said:
PPC regularly receives unsolicited approaches for various parts of its businesses, including PPC Zimbabwe.
PPC’s board has a duty to assess any such approaches on their respective merits.
The PPC unit in Zimbabwe has attracted interest from a local company involved in road construction and home building, sources said.
PPC manages to conduct about 80% of its sales in US dollars, driven by demand for its products in mining, residential construction and government-funded infrastructure projects, according to the company’s trading statement.
Demand for the construction material is expected to expand to 1.6 million tons this year, an increase of about 60% from 2017, according to PPC.
The alleged plan to sell the Zimbabwean unit comes as some overseas investors are fleeing Zimbabwe as it grapples with a currency crisis and the effects of US sanctions on many of the nation’s politicians and business people.
Holcim sold its business in the Southern African nation last year to a local firm.
A number of banks including Barclays and Standard Chartered are also leaving Zimbabwe.
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