Monday 23 September 2019

CRH launches South Africa takeover bid

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

South Africa's PPC confirmed yesterday that Irish cement producer CRH is considering making an all-cash offer to buy a controlling stake in the business.

South Africa's largest cement supplier is also the subject of tie-up approaches from local rival Afrisam and Switzerland's LafargeHolcim.

PPC - which did not disclose the value of the non-binding expression of interest - said it would allow CRH time to conduct due diligence and submit an updated offer next week.

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

Shares in CRH closed down 1.8pc at €30.05 each after the news yesterday.

Elsewhere, world stock markets were down on Monday amid uncertainty over the fate of US tax reform efforts, while Britain's pound fell on growing concerns about the future of Prime Minister Theresa May.

US stock indexes made little ground, with some investors seeking bargains after a few days of losses while others were put off by a dividend cut from heavyweight General Electric.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index lost 0.47pc.

In Dublin the Iseq fell -1.28pc. In currencies, sterling was down 6pct against the dollar, and down 0.6pc against the euro on fears a growing numbers of lawmakers in Mrs May's Conservative Party favour a leadership contest.

Oil prices were lower, with rising US production countering the impact on price of a purge of Saudi Arabia's leadership by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that has raised concerns about political stability of the world's largest oil producer.

Irish Independent

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