Dangote Cement is in talks with struggling regional cement manufacturer Athi River Mining (ARM) about a takeover deal.
Asked on Bloomberg TV whether they will make any acquisition ahead of Dangote Cement’s London IPO next year, Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote said;
“There’s a company that has operations in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda. We are talking to that company to see if we take over.”
— Kenyanwallstreet (@kenyanwalstreet) November 7, 2018
ARM is the only cement manufacturer with operations in the said countries. Mr Dangote was speaking to Bloomberg on the sidelines of the New Economy Forum in Singapore.
A takeover of ARM by Dangote would provide the much-needed capital and expertise to revive the firm that is currently under administration after its lenders including UBA Group (Bankers of Dangote Cement) pulled the plug. ARM was subsequently suspended from trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange following the placement under administration.
At the moment, Dangote operates in Tanzania and Ethiopia but has been eying the Kenyan market for some time.
It was also reported late last year that LafargeHolcim, Heidelberg Cement AG, Dangote Cement Plc and Titan Cement Co. SA of Greece were exploring a potential bid for ARM Cement.
In its Full year 2017 earnings, ARM Cement reported a staggering Ksh 6.5 Billion loss compared to a loss of Ksh 2.8 Billion in the previous financial year. Additionally, the group recorded a 32.2 per cent drop in revenue to Ksh 8.7Bn as it cited business challenges both in the Kenyan and Tanzanian market.