PPC still working hard on BEE deal, South Africa

PPC still working hard on BEE deal, South Africa
Published: 09 May 2008

The planned broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) deal by Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) has been delayed further, with the R4 billion transaction expected to be finalised in the next few months.
 
John Gomersall, PPC’s chief executive, said yesterday that the process was at an advanced stage but one of the problems was that a few things were out of the control of the listed cement and lime producer.
 
“Certain approvals are necessary,” he said.
 
The finalisation of the financing of the transaction had become a lot more complex because globally banks were looking more keenly at their interest yields versus their risk, Gomersall said.
 
The deal was announced in January 2006 and scheduled to be completed by the end of September last year. This target date was then shifted, because of PPC anticipating it would seek shareholder approval for the transaction early this year.
 
The company had made good progress, Gomersall said.
 
“We want to make sure there are no complaints about the broadness of the transaction and what is in it for communities and employees. We were warned we were being unbelievably optimistic to think we could do the deal in a year.”
 
The transaction involves the sale of 15 percent of PPC to employees, communities and industry associations through various trusts and a number of strategic black partners, who have not yet been named.