PPC Investor Says Fairfax Bid Should Be More Than 43% Higher

Updated on
  • South Africa’s No. 1 cement maker valued at 10 rand/share: VCP
  • Value Capital Partners wrote to PPC to oppose Fairfax proposal

PPC Ltd. is worth at least 43 percent more than what Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. has offered for the share component of its bid, according to the holder of about 5 percent of stock in South Africa’s biggest cement maker.

Value Capital Partners is among PPC investors who oppose the Fairfax bid for 2 billion rand ($145 million) worth of shares at 5.75 rand each, the Johannesburg-based money manager said in a Oct. 4 letter to PPC Chairman Peter Nelson. PPC is valued at more than 10 rand a share, it said, without saying how it calculated that price.

“If the proposed transaction is placed before shareholders for a vote, we will vote against it,” VCP Chief Executive Officer Sam Sitole said in the letter, which has been seen by Bloomberg. “Our position would equally apply to any current or future transaction that does not meet our fair value guidance.”

The offer by Toronto-based Fairfax was made on condition that PPC merges with local rival AfriSam Group Pty Ltd, a tie-up that’s opposed by investors holding more than 25 percent of stock, Nelson said on Thursday. PPC has hired Investec Plc to review the Fairfax approach, which also includes a recapitalization of AfriSam, and said last week the bank could take “some time” to reach a conclusion.

PPC shares pared losses and traded 2 percent lower at 6.24 rand a share as of 2:50 p.m. in Johannesburg on Monday, valuing the company at 9.9 billion rand.

Investor hopes for a bidding war for PPC faded on Friday when Dangote Cement Plc, the continent’s biggest producer of the building material, withdrew its interest. PPC has said a second, unidentified industry rival has expressed an interest, but no offer has been forthcoming. PPC and AfriSam have been in on-off talks since February about combining their operations to strengthen balance sheets and better expand on the continent.

VCP’s valuation of PPC is based on an anticipated rise in profit contribution from new African operations and the end of a capital expenditure program related to the construction of plants in countries including Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sitole said in an emailed response to follow-up questions. Furthermore, last year’s 4 billion rand rights issue means there’s no need for a further cash injection, he said.

Fairfax didn’t immediately respond to a call placed outside office hours.

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