Nigerian industrial giant, Dangote Industries has given notice it aims to become the largest cement producer in Africa by 2014. Dangote will increase its equity stake in Sephaku Cement from 19.76 per cent to 64 per cent through the additional investment.
Dangote was established in 1981 and is one of the largest manufacturing conglomerates in sub-Saharan Africa, with interests in cement, sugar, flour, salt and fish. Aliko Dangote, the group’s chief executive, said Sunday that the group was delighted to increase its investment in Sephaku Cement and its pan-African footprint to include an enhanced presence in the South African market. “We look forward to bringing our experience and expertise to the project and to producing cement by the end of 2012 as we seek to become the largest cement producer in Africa by 2014,” he said.
The balance of Sephaku Cement’s shareholding will continue to be held by Sephaku Holdings. Dangote is the largest cement producer in Nigeria and will have a cement production capacity of 16 million tons by the first quarter of next year. Neil Crafford-Lazarus, the chief executive of JSE-listed Sephaku Holdings, said yesterday that the investment by Dangote and the continued unbundling of non-core assets signalled the rebirth of Sephaku as a recapitalised, financially sound business. It would focus on the development of two key and highly sought-after industrial products: cement and fluorspar. Crafford-Lazarus said the additional investment meant the company had now secured the full equity requirement for the cement project and would be exceptionally well positioned to finalise debt funding terms.