SA's biggest cement maker PPC postpones R750 million rights issue

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Bags of cement
Bags of cement

PPC, South Africa’s biggest cement maker, has held off on a planned rights issue that had been intended to raise between R750 million and R1.25 billion, following a sales boost and advancing talks on the disposal of its lime business.

The Johannesburg-based company negotiated with lenders to postpone a share sale for at least six months, Chief Executive Officer Roland Van Wijnen said by phone on Wednesday. The group saw double-digit cement-revenue growth in its home market from the middle of last year, enabling it to meet interest payments, he said.

PPC will also gain additional clarity on its lime division, which could generate further proceeds, the CEO said.

The 128-year-old business was facing the prospect of financial distress during South Africa’s hard lockdown a year ago, but a rebound in demand in subsequent months has seen a reversal in fortunes. President Cyril Ramaphosa has also identified privately funded infrastructure projects as key to South Africa’s economic revival, indicating market conditions could remain positive.

PPC shares rose 18% as of 3:06 p.m. in Johannesburg to R2.40, close to 14-month highs.

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