BEE group looks offshore for funds to buy Holcim

BEE group looks offshore for funds to buy Holcim
Published: 01 June 2007

The funding for the acquisition of 85 per cent of Holcim South Africa by a black economic empowerment (BEE) consortium for R13.8bn is to be sourced offshore.  
This was confirmed by Mofasi Lekota, the chairman of Bunker Hills Investment, the lead shareholder in the AfriSam Consortium that is acquiring the controlling stake in Holcim SA.  
Today is the deadline for the AfriSam Consortium, headed by Eltie Links, the former trade negotiator and South African ambassador to the EU, to have concluded the funding arrangements. “We are confident that [the funding] will be in place,” said Links.  
Wandile Zote, a Holcim SA spokesperson, yesterday confirmed that the consortium had to pay R13.8bn for the 85 per cent stake in the firm.  
The remaining 15 per cent in Holcim SA will be owned by Holcim of Switzerland, which previously was the controlling shareholder of the local company, with a 54.35 per cent stake.  
The funding of the AfriSam Consortium’s purchase of the stake in Holcim SA is the final hurdle in the transaction following the vote earlier this wee by Aveng shareholders overwhelmingly in favour of the listed construction and engineering group selling its entire 45.65 per cent shareholding in Holcim SA for R7.4bn.  
This has paved the way for the finalisation of South Africa’s biggest BEE transaction. It makes Holcim SA the only producer of cement and aggregates in the country that is black-controlled.  
It is unclear why the funding of the transaction is being sourced offshore, but a source close to the transaction said a local financial institution had claimed the transaction could not be financed.