Kenya’s Bamburi says won’t sell EAPC shares

Kenya’s Bamburi says won’t sell EAPC shares
Published: 28 October 2009

Kenya’s Bamburi Cement has no plans to sell its stake in rival East African Portland Cement (EAPC) after exiting another competitor, Athi River Mining the company said on Tuesday.

Bamburi sold more than 11 percent of Athi River through the Nairobi Stock Exchange last week in a series of transactions seen by analysts as proof there was appetite for Kenyan equities despite a poor run this year.

"No, both businesses are quite strong and have solid growth plans," the company said in statement in answer to a question of whether it was likely to sell its EAPC shares. Bamburi holds 12.5 percent of EAPC, in which Bamburi’s parent firm Lafarge (LAFP.PA) holds 29.5 percent.

Bamburi, the biggest cement maker in east Africa’s largest economy, bought a 19 percent stake in Athi River for 180 million shillings ($2.4 million) in 2000.

It sold 4 percent for 90 million shillings in 2004 and banked a return of more than 10 times the original investment last week by unbundling more than 10 million shares at a price of between 94.00 and 98.50 shillings per share.

Bamburi said it had sold the Athi River shares to a number of independent asset managers. The company also said it was casting its eye elsewhere.

"Cement supply is expected to outstrip demand in two years, the group must turn to other alternatives of generating cash, especially in assets that do not create strategic synergies and will be better managed by other parties," Bamburi said.